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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 ...