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S.M. Wright

S.M. Wright was born in Dallas on February 7, 1927 to the Reverend Calvin and Mary Wright. He grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Dallas, the Bon Ton community. As a child, he was determined to “be somebody” so he focused on his education, graduating from Lincoln High School and earning a bachelor’s degree from Bishop College in Marshall, Texas. He later earned a master’s and doctorate degree from Bishop College.

Dr. Wright became the pastor of the People’s Missionary Baptist Church in South Dallas in 1957. A natural leader, he served as advisor to elected officials, businessmen, and civic leaders. He was known for his ability to unite ethnic groups peacefully. During the turbulent 1960s, Dr. Wright worked with city leaders to foster integration in education, employment, and political representation as well as in restaurants, hotels, shops, and swimming pools. He died on November 3, 1994. To honor his legacy, then Governor George W. Bush changed the name of Highway 175 to the S.M. Wright Freeway in 1995.