In 1990, Wilder became the first elected African-American governor in U.S. history. Notably, his election occurred in a state that was once a cornerstone of the Confederacy and that had once denied Wilder admission to its law schools.
Wilder graduated from Virginia Union University in 1951. He served in the U.S. army during the Korean War he received the Bronze Star for heroism. After the war, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study law but earned his degree at Howard University Law School in Washington D.C. because Virginia barred blacks from its law schools at that time. A 20-year veteran of Virginia politics, Wilder served as a state senator and as lieutenant governor prior to being elected governor. His gubernatorial term expired in 1992, and he failed in an effort at re-election.
Since leaving office, Wilder has remained involved in current events by hosting a morning radio talk show in Richmond, Va., and also hosting "The Doug Wilder Show," a weekly television program that airs on a Washington-area cable station.
Wilder's appearance is sponsored by the Root-Jessup Public Affairs Council.