Espy, Michael Alphonso
- Richard T. IV Middleton
secretary of agriculture in the cabinet of President Bill Clinton; U.S. congressman, and attorney, was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the son of Henry Espy and Willie Jean Espy, prominent owners of a chain of funeral homes. A member of New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi, Espy was married to Portia Denise Ballard on 17 April 1999. The couple had three children: Jamillla Morgan, Michael William, and Ian Michael Espy. Upon graduating from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with his BA in Law, in 1975 he matriculated at the University of Santa Clara School of Law in Santa Clara, California, where he received his juris doctorate degree in 1978. Espy went on to teach at the prestigious Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Stanford Law School, as well as many other institutions of higher education across the country.
In Mississippi Espy ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.