Rodney S. Wead

Rodney S. Wead was born in began his life in the Logan Fontenelle Public Housing Projects. While serving as a newsboy for the Omaha Star when he was a kid, he went to Lake School for grade school.

Wead graduated from Omaha Central High School in 1953, where he was a star basketball player and track and field athlete. While he was in high school, both the Omaha Star and the Omaha World-Herald highlighted his many accomplishments regularly, with the Star also featuring his social life occasionally.

In 1957, Wead earned a bachelor’s degree from Dana College. In the mid-1960s, he was vice-president of the Douglas County Young Democrats, and stayed politically involved throughout his career.

Omaha native and Central High School alum, Dr. Rodney S. Wead has served a lifetime as a respected humanitarian. Through a scholarship earned from his outstanding athletic achievements at Central High, Dr. Wead received a Bachelor of Science in History and Education from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska in 1957. He went on to earn a Masters of Arts in Urban Studies from Roosevelt University in 1976, and a Doctorate in Sociology from the Union Institute in 1980. He has also taught at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has published four books. Dr. Wead has touched the lives of many disadvantaged individuals throughout the country. Some of his most notable acts of humanity include providing therapy to mentally challenged children, adults, and teenagers while employed at the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute, founding the first Nebraska credit union for low-income individuals, Community Bank of Nebraska, and Omaha’s first black-­owned radio station, KOWH. He started programs to help imprisoned women and minority students, as well as established a sweat-equity housing program while Executive Director of the United Methodist Community Centers of Omaha. He has also founded some notable organizations, including the Chicago Black United Fund, the Wesley House Community Center, and the Lake Charles Organization.

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