Born-(Died): 1943 -
Joseph P. Riley, Jr. was first elected mayor of Charleston in December 1975, and went on to serve an unprecedented ten terms. During Riley's forty-year tenure as mayor, the City of Charleston saw a substantial decrease in crime, a revitalization of the historic downtown business district, the creation and growth of Spoleto Festival U.S. A., an expansion of the city's park system, and the development of nationally-acclaimed affordable housing.
An important part of Riley's legacy will be his leadership prior to and during the aftermath of the Emanuel Nine shooting Mayor Riley spent his entire public service career building bridges among diverse sectors of the community, which many consider important groundwork that aided the city's response to the tragedy.
At the end of his final term as Mayor in January of 2016, he joined the faculty of The Citadel as the first occupant of an endowed Professorship of American Government & Public Policy created in his honor with the mission of documenting, and teaching, lessons of principled, bipartisan, and effective leadership in pursuit of excellence for the public good.