Concept

Wilson Riles

Summary
Wilson Camanza Riles Sr. (June 27, 1917 – April 1, 1999) was an American educator and politician from California. He was the first African American to be elected to statewide office in California. Career Riles graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1940 and served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. He was elected three times as California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. His upset win in November 1970 over controversial incumbent Max Rafferty was described as "one of the most stunning upsets in California's political history". Riles had been serving as a deputy superintendent under Rafferty and had almost no name recognition when he launched his campaign to replace Rafferty. In 1970 Riles, then-Deputy Superintendent for Program and Legislation, became convinced that the State's educational system could not survive another term with Rafferty. Riles was elected to a second term in 1974 and a third term in 197
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