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Billy McCray

Politician. Born: October 29, 1927. Died: June 2, 2012.

Billy McCray was born October 29, 1927, near Geary, Oklahoma. He attended Booker T. Washington High School in Dover, Oklahoma, Langston University in Oklahoma, and the University of Colorado. In the late 1940s McCray joined the U.S. Air Force and learned photography. In 1951 he was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. After he was discharged from the service he remained in Wichita and worked at Boeing where he eventually became one of the first African-Americans on the photography team. He worked at Boeing for 24 years. In the 1960s McCray became active in the NAACP, speaking out on the need for fair housing regulations. When the 77th district was created in northeast Wichita, he ran for state legislature as a Democrat and won. He served in the House from 1966 until he was elected to the Kansas Senate. He served in the Senate from 1972 to 1984. In 1984 McCray became director of the Office of Minority Business in the Kansas Department of Economic Development. He was elected to the Sedgwick County Commission in 1986 and served until 1993. In addition to politics McCray founded the neighborhood newspaper Community Voice as well as McCray and Associates, a consulting firm that helped entrepreneurs land government contracts. McCray died June 2, 2012, in Wichita.

Entry: McCray, Billy

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: March 2013

Date Modified: January 2018

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.