Douglas Wilder
Name: Douglas Wilder
Occupation: Politician
Gender: Male
Birth Day: January 17, 1931
Age: 89
Birth Place: Richmond, United States
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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Douglas Wilder

Douglas Wilder was born on January 17, 1931 in Richmond, United States (89 years old). Douglas Wilder is a Politician, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.


During his tenure as Virginia Governor, he ordered state agencies and universities to pull out of their investments in South Africa due to the country's controversial Apartheid policy.

Net Worth 2020

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Before Fame

He studied chemistry at Virginia Union University. He reached the rank of sergeant while fighting in the Korean War.


Biography Timeline


Wilder was born on January 17, 1931, in the segregated Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond. He is the son of Beulah Olive (Richards) and Robert Judson Wilder. He is the grandson of slaves, his paternal grandparents having been enslaved in Goochland County. The seventh of eight brothers and sisters, Wilder was named for the African American writers Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frederick Douglass.


Wilder worked his way through Virginia Union University, a historically black university, by waiting tables at hotels and shining shoes, graduating in 1951 with a degree in chemistry.


Drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War, he volunteered for combat duty. At the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, he and two other men found themselves cut off from their unit, but they bluffed nineteen Chinese soldiers into surrendering, for which Wilder was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He was a sergeant when he was discharged in 1953.


Following the war, Wilder worked in the state medical examiner's office and pursued a master's degree in chemistry. In 1956 he changed his career plans and entered Howard University Law School. After graduating in 1959, he established a law practice in Richmond, the Virginia capital.


Wilder married Eunice Montgomery in 1958. The couple had three children before divorcing in 1978: Lynn Diana; Lawrence Douglas Jr.; and Loren Deane.


Wilder briefly flirted with an independent bid for the United States Senate in 1982. He did so after the initial favorite for the Democratic nomination, State Delegate Owen Pickett of Virginia Beach, paid homage to the Byrd Organization in announcing his bid. Angered that Pickett would praise a political machine who obstinately resisted racial integration, Wilder threatened to make an independent bid for the seat if Pickett won the nomination. Pickett not only realized that Wilder was serious, but that he would siphon off enough black votes in a three-way race to hand the seat to the Republican nominee, Congressman Paul Trible. Pickett pulled out of the race, and Wilder abandoned plans to run for the Senate.


In 1985 Wilder was narrowly elected as the 35th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia on a Democratic ticket headed by Attorney General Gerald L. Baliles, the party's candidate for governor. Wilder was the first African American to win a statewide election in Virginia. Aware that he needed to reach the swath of the state's majority-white electorate, Wilder had undertaken a two-month "back roads" campaign tour of the state, visiting Virginia's predominantly rural central and western regions and enhancing his name recognition across the state.


Wilder was elected governor on November 8, 1989, defeating Republican Marshall Coleman by a spread of less than half a percent. The narrow victory margin prompted a recount, which reaffirmed Wilder's election. He was sworn in on January 13, 1990 by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.. In recognition of his landmark achievement as the first elected African-American governor, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded Wilder the Spingarn Medal for 1990.


During his tenure as governor, Wilder worked on crime and gun control initiatives. He also worked to fund Virginia's transportation initiatives, effectively lobbying Congress to reallocate highway money to the states with the greatest needs. Much residential and office development had taken place in Northern Virginia without its receiving sufficient federal money for infrastructure improvements to keep up. He also succeeded in passing state bond issues to support improving transportation. In May 1990 Wilder ordered state agencies and universities to divest themselves of any investments in South Africa because of its policy of apartheid, making Virginia the first Southern state to take such action.


In the mid-1990s Wilder was scrutinized for his attacks on fellow Democrat Chuck Robb and support of Republican Mark Earley. Wilder declared himself a candidate for President in 1992, but withdrew before primary season had ended. He briefly ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent in 1994.


During his term, Wilder carried out Virginia's law on capital punishment, although he had stated his personal opposition to the death penalty. There were 14 executions by the electric chair, including the controversial case of Roger Keith Coleman. In January 1994 Wilder commuted the sentence of Earl Washington Jr., an intellectually disabled man, to life in prison based on testing of DNA evidence that raised questions about his guilt. Virginia law has strict time limits on when such new evidence can be introduced post-conviction. But in 2000, under a new governor, an STR-based DNA test led to the exclusion of Washington as the perpetrator of the murder for which he had been sentenced. He was fully exonerated by Governor Jim Gilmore for the capital murder and he was released from prison.

As Virginia limits consecutive gubernatorial terms, he was succeeded in 1994 by George Allen.


On May 30, 2004, Wilder announced his intention to run for Mayor of Richmond. Until recently, the Richmond City Council chose the mayor from among its 9 members. The move to change this policy succeeded in November 2003 when voters approved a mayor-at-large referendum, with roughly 80 percent voting in favor of the measure. Wilder was a leading proponent of the mayor-at-large proposal.

On November 2, 2004, Wilder received 79% of the vote (55,319 votes) to become the first directly elected Mayor of Richmond in sixty years. Upon winning the election, Wilder communicated his intentions to take on corruption in the city government. He issued several ultimatums to the sitting City Council before he took office. He was sworn in on January 2, 2005.


On May 16, 2008 Wilder announced that he would not seek reelection to another four-year term as mayor.

Douglas Wilder is the founder of the United States National Slavery Museum, a non-profit organization based in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The museum has been fundraising and campaigning since 2001 to establish a national museum on slavery in America. In June 2008 Wilder requested that the museum be granted tax exempt status, which was denied. From that time, taxes on the land had not been paid and the property was at risk of being sold at auction by the city of Fredericksburg.


Beset by financial problems the museum has been assessed delinquent property taxes for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011 amounting to just over $215,000. The organization filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on September 22, 2011. Early in 2011 Douglas Wilder was refusing to respond to or answer any questions from either news reporters or patrons who had donated artifacts.


Wilder made news in 2012 when he refused to support Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, for another term. He noted that he supported Obama in 2008, but said the president's tenure in the Oval Office thus far had been a disappointment. Wilder did not endorse Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, and later said that he hoped for an Obama victory despite having gone to a Romney fundraiser.


In 2015, Wilder published an autobiography, Son of Virginia: A Life in America's Political Arena.


In March 2018, Wilder filed suit against John Accordino, who was serving as the Dean of his namesake college, for harassing Wilder's assistant. This led to Accordino stepping down from his position and Susan Gooden being named as the interim dean of the college and then Wilder dropping the suit 4 months after filing.


In March 2019, Sydney Black filed a complaint under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 against Wilder for sexual harassment after she claims he made sexual advances to her, which she rebuffed, and then told her later that there was no funding for her position at the Virginia Commonwealth University. In July 2019, the university's independent investigator concluded that Wilder did kiss the student without her consent. In response, Wilder provided a detailed rebuttal, in which he denied "non-consensual sexual contact” between Black and him. In addition, he denied retaliating against her by saying her position had been eliminated. Wilder also claimed the investigator ignored contradictory evidence, including his claim that Black called him eight times after the night during which he supposedly kissed her, something she presumably would not have done if she felt harassed or threatened. The university planned to consider the investigator's findings and Wilder's rebuttal before deciding what action to take, if any. On October 24, 2019, Wilder announced that the university's internal review panel had cleared him of wrongdoing.


In 2020 Wilder raised concerns that the state archives at the Library of Virginia had failed to provide access to the records of his gubernatorial administration.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Douglas Wilder is 91 years, 5 months and 9 days old. Douglas Wilder will celebrate 92nd birthday on a Tuesday 17th of January 2023.

Find out about Douglas Wilder birthday activities in timeline view here.

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