In Memoriam.

William Edward Spriggs (“Bill”) was born in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 1955. He was the son of Dr. Thurman E. Spriggs and Julienne (Henderson) Spriggs. Bill’s father was a Tuskegee Airman who later became a physics professor who taught at Howard University and Norfolk State University. Bill’s mother was a school teacher. Bill met Jennifer Dover at the University of Wisconsin where they were both graduate students. They married in 1985 and have one son, William Thurman.

Bill graduated in 1977 from Williams College in Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science. In 1984, he received a PhD in economics from the University of Howard’s Economics Department for many years. Since 2012, Bill has also served as the Chief Economist for the AFL-CIO. In 2009, Bill was nominated by President Barak Obama to become Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. Bill has also worked at the Economic Policy Institute and served as the executive directory of the National Urban League’s Institute for Opportunity and Equality. Bill was a senior adviser to the Office of Government Contracting and Minority Business Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Joint Economic Committee for the U.S. Congress. Bill also served as the director of the National Commission for Employment Policy. Bill began his teaching career as an assistant professor at North Carolina A & T State University and he also taught at Norfolk State University. As noted by the New York Times, a topic that Bill “came back to most frequently, and spoke mot passionately about, was that of racial disparities in the labor market.” He fought tirelessly for racial and economic justice.