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Arthur Fletcher (December 22, 1924 in Phoenix, Arizona – July 12, 2005 in Washington DC) was an American government official, widely referred to as the "father of affirmative action" as he was largely responsible for the Revised Philadelphia Plan.

Life and career

Fletcher obtained a degree from distance learning school La Salle Extension University.[1]

An African American and a Republican, he served in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.[2] In 1995, he briefly pursued a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.[3] Numbers of his fellow Republicans were often at odds with the affirmative action policies which Fletcher initiated.[4]

As head of the United Negro College Fund, he coined their famous slogan, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."[5]


  1. ^ Holley, Joe (July 14, 2005). Affirmative Action Pioneer Advised GOP Presidents. Washington Post
  2. ^ NPR obituary, in RealAudio or for Windows Media Player. Accessed 20 July 2005.
  3. ^ NPR commentary by his granddaughter, KUOW-FM reporter and producer Phyllis Fletcher. Accessed 20 June 2006.
  4. ^ Presidential adviser Arthur Fletcher, 80, dies, obituary on MSN. Accessed 20 July 2005.
  5. ^ Arthur Fletcher on Accessed 20 July 2005.


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