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Letha Ridley, Rochester’s Second Black Prinicpal, Dies at 104

By Staff



Letha Ridley

Letha Ridley, the second black principal to ever hold the position in the Rochester City School District, died Dec. 29, at the age of 104.

Ridely had been known for being a tough, yet caring disciplinarian, and had begun teaching in the city school district in 1948, before she was promoted to principal of School No. 20 in 1963.

Ridley had many supporters, both parents and students alike, which became evident when the possibility of her transfer from the school led to protests in 1969.

She retired from the school district four years later, at the age of 62.

According to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle, Ridley spent most of her retired years traveling the globe, and ultimately marked her 100th birthday with a trip to China.

She is survived by her son, William Ridley III, and her funeral was held Jan. 4.