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Ryan Reid Bowers

educator and U.S. secretary of education, was born Roderick Raynor Paige in Monticello, Mississippi, the son of Raynor C. Paige, a school principal, and Sophia Paige, a librarian. When he graduated from Lawrence County Training High School in Monticello, Mississippi, the surrounding institutions of higher education in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky did not admit black students. Thus Paige chose Mississippi's Jackson State College, the closest historically black college available to him. After receiving his BA in Physical Education from Jackson State in 1951, he enrolled in a physical education master's degree program at Indiana University, Bloomington, eventually earning his degree in 1964.

In July 1956, Paige married Gloria Gene Crawford. They were married for twenty-three years, had one son, and divorced in 1982. After graduating from Indiana in 1969 with a doctorate in Physical Education Paige left Indiana to become an assistant ...


Jesse J. Esparza

educator. Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Roderick Raynor Paige has always been committed to public education. The oldest of five children and the son of public-school teachers, he earned his diploma from the Lawrence County Training High School in Monticello. He then enrolled in and graduated from Jackson State University, earning a bachelor's degree. Paige also earned an EdD in physical education from Indiana University at Bloomington.

Paige originally distinguished himself in coaching college-level athletics, first as head football coach at Utica Junior College in Mississippi from 1957 to 1962 and then as head football coach at Jackson State University from 1962 to 1969. In 1971 he moved to Texas Southern University in Houston, where he served as both the university's head football coach and athletic director. He became an assistant professor and then from 1984 to 1990 served as dean of Texas Southern s College of Education As ...