Strong Men & Women in Virginia History

Gwen Bingham (1959–), Prince George County
Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army
Brigadier General Gwen Bingham was the first woman to serve as quartermaster general of the United States Army.

James Heyward Blackwell (ca. February 1864–October 14, 1931), Richmond
Educator and Community Advocate
James Heyward Blackwell advanced the cause of African American public education in Richmond for more than forty years.

Peter Jacob Carter (1845–1886), Northampton County
Legislator
Peter Jacob Carter rose from slavery to be an influential member of the General Assembly and sought-after political speaker during the 1870s and 1880s.

Jennie Serepta Dean (1848–1913), Manassas
Educator
Born into slavery, Jennie Serepta Dean founded a school at a time when segregation limited educational opportunities for African American students.

William Darnell “Bill” Euille (b. 1950–), Alexandria
Mayor
A leader in the political, cultural, and civic life of Alexandria, William Darnell “Bill” Euille became the first African American elected mayor of the city.

Mary Alice Franklin Hatwood Futrell (b. 1940–), Lynchburg
Educator and Organization Leader
Educator and organization leader Mary Alice Franklin Hatwood Futrell is an advocate for teachers and students in the United States and around the world.

Nannie Berger Hairston (1921–), Christiansburg
Community activist
Activist Nannie Berger Hairston strives to make her community a better place.

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly (February 1818–May 26, 1907), Dinwiddie County
Seamstress and Author
Seamstress and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, former slave Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly wrote a book detailing her life and experiences in the White House.

Olivia Ferguson McQueen (b. 1942–), Charlottesville
Civil Rights Pioneer
Civil rights pioneer Olivia Ferguson McQueen successfully challenged school segregation in 1959, but did not receive her diploma for another fifty-four years.

John Mitchell (July 11, 1863–December 3, 1929), Richmond
Newspaper Editor
As editor of the Richmond Planet, John Mitchell, Jr., fought against racism and for African American advancement in politics, business, and education.

Robert Russa Moton (1867–1940), Hampton
Educator
Early in the twentieth century, Robert Russa Moton was one of the foremost African American educators in the United States.

Xavier R. Richardson (1957–), Fredericksburg
Mentor/executive and community leader
Xavier R. Richardson is a fervent advocate for underprivileged youth.

Robert L. Satcher Jr. (1965–), Hampton
Astronaut
The first orthopedic surgeon to fly into space, Robert L. Satcher's mission aboard the space shuttle Atlantis included spacewalks to repair robotic arms on the International Space Station.

James Randolph Spencer (b. 1949–), Richmond
Federal Judge
James Randolph Spencer is the first African American federal judge appointed from Virginia.

Wyatt Tee Walker (1929–), Petersburg
Civil rights activist
A nationally celebrated Baptist minister, Wyatt Tee Walker was a pioneer in the Civil Rights movement.

Marcellus Spencer “Boo” Williams (b. 1958–), Hampton
Youth Sports Mentor
Marcellus Spencer “Boo” Williams, Jr., created a nationally known summer youth basketball program and led the way in developing a state-of-the-art community sports facility in Hampton.


Library of Virginia
Dominion