Douglas Wilder

American politician

Lawrence Douglas Wilder (born January 17, 1931) is an American politician. He served as the first African American to be elected as Governor of Virginia. He was the first African-American governor of any state in the United States since the 1870s during the Reconstruction of the United States.[1]

Douglas Wilder
Wilder in January 2003
66th Governor of Virginia
In office
January 13, 1990 – January 15, 1994
LieutenantDon Beyer
Preceded byGerald L. Baliles
Succeeded byGeorge F. Allen
78th Mayor of Richmond
In office
January 2, 2005 – January 1, 2009
Preceded byRudolph McCollum Jr.
Succeeded byDwight Clinton Jones
35th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 18, 1986 – January 13, 1990
GovernorGerald L. Baliles
Preceded byDick Davis
Succeeded byDon Beyer
Personal details
Lawrence Douglas Wilder

(1931-01-17) January 17, 1931 (age 93)
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
Spouse(s)Eunice Montgomery (div)
ResidenceRichmond, Virginia, U.S.
Alma materVirginia Union University
Howard University
Awards Bronze Star Medal
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1951-1953
Rank Sergeant
Battles/warsKorean War

Early life


Wilder was born in Richmond, Virginia. He studied at Virginia Union University and at Howard University.

Political career


Wilder served as the 66th Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. When earlier elected as Lieutenant Governor, he was the first African American elected to statewide office in Virginia. His most recent political office was Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, which he held from 2005 to 2009.

L. Douglas Wilder was born in the segregated Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond on January 17, 1931.[2]

Later career


On May 30, 2004, Wilder announced his intention to run for Mayor of Richmond. 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. On May 16, 2008 Wilder announced that he would not seek reelection to another four-year term as mayor.

Personal life


Wilder was married to Eunice Montgomery. Their marriage ended in divorce. He now lives in Richmond, Virginia.


  1. "Douglas Wilder biography". Archived from the original on January 21, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  2. Jessie Carney Smith, Notable Black American Men, Book 1, 1998, page 1218

Other websites


  Media related to Douglas Wilder at Wikimedia Commons