From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Perry, William H., Sr.

(born: 1860  -  died: 1946) 

William H. Perry, Sr. was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. After the death of his father, Charles B. Perry, William and his mother, Anna Hill Perry Anderson, moved to Louisville, KY. He was a graduate of Louisville Central High School, becoming a teacher at the school following his graduation in 1877. He was also a graduate of the Illinois Medical College. In 1908 Perry became the first African American physician to receive his license by passing the Kentucky State Board of Medical Examiners. He was also one of the co-founders of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. The Perry School in Louisville was named in his honor posthumously in 1952; Perry had been head principal of the school, 1891-1927. The school was later merged with the Roosevelt School, and the name was changed to the Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School.

William H. Perry, Sr. was also a graduate of Central Law School, and earned an A.M degree from State University, both in Louisville. He was also a poet, writer, and orator; he delivered one of his poems at the dedication of the State Normal School [now Kentucky State University]. He also studied with the Chautauqua in Terre Haute and New York. William H. Perry, Sr. was the husband of Ana Ridley, from Nashville, a concert pianist and vocalist.

For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Biographical Sketches Of Prominent Negro Men and Women in Kentucky by W. D. Johnson; and "Professor William H. Perry, Sr. passes," KNEA Journal, vol. 18, issue 1 (1946), pp. 12-13. Mark Shepard provided additional information from the Personal Papers of William H. Perry, part of the grass-roots collection at the Lost Creek Historical Society.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Louisville Central High School/Central High School Magnet Career Academy
NKAA Entry: Red Cross Hospital and Nurse Training Department (Louisville, KY)
NKAA Source: Fascinating story of Black Kentuckians : their heritage and traditions
NKAA Source: Kentucky Negro educational association journal (periodical)
NKAA Source: Biographical sketches of prominent Negro men and women of Kentucky

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Howard University Club of Kentucky (Louisville, KY)
NKAA Entry:  African American Lawyers/Attorneys, Kentucky, 1880-1940

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Perry, William H., Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 20, 2021,

Last modified: 2020-08-02 14:17:04