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Rosa and Raymond Parks Marriage Profile


Rosa Parks

American civil rights activist Rosa Parks in 1955, whose refusal to give up her seat for a white man was the catalyst for the Montgomery bus boycott.

Photo: MPI / Getty Images
Although Rosa received the recognition and the spotlight for her civil rights activism and her courage, her husband Raymond was quietly supportive throughout most of their nearly 45 year marriage.

Here's more information about the marriage and lives of Rosa and Raymond Parks.

Fast Marriage Facts - Raymond and Rosa
Met: Abt. 1932.
Married: December 18, 1932.
Marriage Ended: Their marriage ended when Raymond died on August 19, 1977.
First Marriage: Yes.

Did You Know?
Rosa and Raymond were childless..

News Updates:

2/27/2013: A statue of Rosa Parks was unveiled in the US Capitol. According to ABC News, she is the first black woman to be honored with a full-length statue in the Capitol's Statuary Hall."

When Rosa and Raymond Were Born:

Rosa Louise Lee McCauley: February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Raymond Parks: February 12, 1903 in Wedowee in Randolph County, Alabama.

When Rosa and Raymond Died:

Rosa Parks: Rosa died at the age of 92 on October 24, 2005 at her home on the east side of Detroit while she was taking a nap. Rosa had suffered from dementia for several years. She lived in the Riverfront Apartments complex that overlooked the Detroit River and the border with Ontario, Canada.
Rosa Parks made history again on Sunday, October 30, 2005, when she became the first woman to lie in honor, 180 feet below the Capitol dome, in the ornate Rotunda. She was also the second black person to receive this honor.

Raymond Parks: Raymond died in Detroit, Michigan, on August, 19, 1977, after a five year battle with cancer.

How Rosa and Raymond Met:

When Rosa was nineteen, Rosa and Raymond met one another through a mutual friend. They became friends before they had a romantic relationship with each other. Raymond was an immaculate dresser and considered to be very handsome and charming.

Not attracted to Raymond at first because he was so light-skinned, Rosa resisted his advances for a while, but was wore down by his persistence.

Ages at Wedding:

Rosa was nearly 20 years old and Raymond was 29 years old at the time of their wedding.

Wedding Date:

On December 18, 1932, Rosa and Raymond were married at her mother's house in Montgomery, Alabama.


Rosa and Raymond were members of the African Methodist Episcopal church (AME) and in 1964, Rosa became a deaconess.


Rosa attended Montgomery Industrial School for Girls, Booker T. Washington High School, and Alabama State College. With the support of Raymond, Rosa went back to school in 1933 and obtained her high-school diploma.

Although Raymond did not have a formal education, he did hunger for knowledge. Self taught, he had a thorough knowledge of domestic affairs and current events. Many people thought he was college educated. He spent his life encouraging others to get an education.


Although Rosa is known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Raymond and Rosa had no children of their own.


Raymond and Rosa never owned their own home.


Early in her life, Rosa was a dressmaker, a seamstress, a life insurance agent, and a housekeeper. In her later years, Rosa was a hotel supervisor, civil rights activist, speaker, and author. From March 1, 1965 through 1988, Rosa was a staff assistant for Congressman John Conyers, Jr.

In 1987, Rosa founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development to offer career training for kids aged 12 to 18.

Raymond was a barber and civil rights activist and encouraged black people to vote. He worked secretly for the National Committee to Save the Scottsboro Boys and was later a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).


Rosa loved singing and praying. Raymond loved poetry and reading.

Awards and Honors:

Rosa received a great number of awards and honors. In July, 1999, Rosa was awarded Parks the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the nation's highest civilian award.

The Montgomery Bus Incident

On December 1, 1955, when Rosa was 42 years old, she was arrested for not giving up her seat in the black section of the bus to a white man. Rosa Parks only agreed to challenge the segregationist law in court after she consulted with her husband Raymond, her mother, and her attorney.

Although concerned about her safety, they still agreed she should move forward with the case. Found guilty on December 6, 1955, of failure to comply with a city ordinance and fined $14, Rosa appealed the decision and didn't pay the fine. Triggered by Rosa's courage, the bus boycott lasted for 381 days.

Ultimately, the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the buses had to be integrated. On December 21, 1956, Rosa rode in the front of an integrated Montgomery city bus.

Move to Detroit:

After the initial court case, and throughout the appeal process, Raymond and Rosa endured numerous verbal threats, abusive letters, telephone harassment, and intimidation. They both lost their jobs and were unemployable in the Montgomery area. Raymond suffered a nervous breakdown from the stress. They made the decision to move to Detroit, Michigan in August, 1957 and took Rosa's mother with them.

Quotes About the Marriage of Rosa and Raymond Parks:

Rosa, about her husband: "Raymond, my husband -- he is now deceased -- was another person who inspired me, because he believed in freedom and equality himself ... He believed in freedom and equality and all the things that would improve conditions."
Source: Achievement.org

Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute: "The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development was named in honor of Raymond Parks because of his civil rights activism, his love for children and Mrs. Parks love for him."
Source: Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute

Rosa about Raymond: "He was the first, aside from my grandfather and Mr. Gus Vaughn, who was never actually afraid of white people. So many African Americans felt that you just had to be under Mr. Charlie's heel -- that's what we called the white man, Mr. Charlie -- and couldn't do anything to cross him. In other words, Parks believed in being a man and expected to be treated as a man."
Source: Detroit Free Press. 10/24/2005.

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