In 1983, Fred Rice became the first African-American permanently appointed police superintendent for the Chicago Police Department. Rice was appointed to the position at age 56 by Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor.
Rice died on Monday, Jan. 10, at age 84 at a ManorCare Health Services in Palos Heights after a nearly 10-year battle with lung cancer, his family said.
Rice introduced racially integrated police teams at a time when the police force was racially polarized, and he wasn’t afraid to defend his decisions.Terry Hillard, the former superintendent who served under Rice, said he saw Rice’s willingness to stand up to even the mayor.
“f he had something on his mind, you were going to know about it. I don’t care if you were the mayor, the first deputy (superintendent), whoever it was,” Hillard said.
Read more about the life and legacy of Fred Rice here