Dr. William H. “Bob” Bailey
February 14, 1927 –May 24, 2014
Dr. William H. “Bob” Bailey, resident of Las Vegas Nevada since 1955, passed away on May 24, 2014 surrounded by his family. Known as the first African-American television personality in Nevada; Bailey is celebrated by many as civil rights leader and advocate for equal employment, business development and education.
Arriving in Las Vegas in 1955 from New York City to co-produce the opening show for the first integrated hotel and casino in Las Vegas—The Moulin Rouge; Bailey was impressed with all the possibilities in the Silver State and often remarked to his wife, Anna, “This is it!”
Bailey and his wife decided to make Las Vegas home after the historic Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino closed, after just six months. Tackling the ills of racial segregation in Nevada, Bailey stood as a leader for change, equal employment, and equal access. He was appointed as Nevada’s first chairman of the Equal Rights Commission by Governor Grant Sawyer to investigate discrimination practices in Nevada that denied African Americans and other minority’s equal access and employment opportunities. Bailey’s investigation, where he sometimes lived in a trailer outside strip hotels in order to document acts of discrimination, was the catalyst that led to the Federal investigation that resulted in the enactment of the Equal Rights Act for Nevada.
Bailey established the Nevada Economic Development Corporation that assisted minority businesses to obtain funding that exceeded $300 million. His successes resulted in his appointment, by then President George H.W. Bush, as the first Presidential appointee from Nevada to serve as Associate Director of the Minority Development Business Agency.
He owned and operated many businesses that included: Sugar Hill Lounge and Liquor and the Golden West Shopping Center in Historic West Las Vegas.
Attending Morehouse College with good friend and classmate, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of Bailey’s proudest moments was having the Dr. William H. “Bob” Bailey Middle School dedicated in his name. He would often say, “Education is the light that blinds ignorance.”
Bailey’s parents, John and Margaret, preceded him. He is survived by his lovely wife of 63 years, Anna, John R. Bailey; daughter in-law, Teri, daughter, Kimberly Bailey Tureaud; son in-law, Charles Tureaud; and his five grandchildren: Jonathan Backers, Jordan Bailey, Gabrielle Bailey, Alexandra Bailey, and Brandon Tureaud.
Services will take place 2PM on Saturday May 31, 2014 at Second Baptist Church, located at 500 West Madison Ave.
The family asks that donations to be given to the, “Dr. William H. Bailey Middle School,” in lieu of flowers. Dr. William H. Bailey Middle School located at 2500 North Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada 89156 or on-line at: schools.ccsd.net/bailey click on Web Store and Donations.
THE PASSING OF DR. WILLIAM H. “BOB” BAILEY
FEBRUARY 14, 1927—MAY 24, 2014
WHO: LONG TIME LAS VEGAS RESIDENT AND CIVIL RIGHTS ICON, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ADVOCATE, AND FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TELEVISION PERSONALITY, DR. WILLIAM H. “BOB” BAILEY.
WHAT: DR. WILLIAM H. “BOB” BAILEY PASSED AWAY IN LAS VEGAS SATURDAY MAY 24, 2014 AND FUNERAL SERVICES WILL TAKE PLACE.
WHERE: SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH IN HISTORIC WEST LAS VEGAS AT 500 WEST MADISON AVE.
WHEN: MAY 31, 2014 AT 2pm PST.
WHY: A CELEBRATION OF DR. WILLIAM H. “BOB” BAILEY’S LIFE.
FACTS: Dr. William H. “Bob” Bailey battled parkinsons disease for ten years. First presidential appointee by George H. W. Bush; initiated the federal investigation of discrimination in Las Vegas that sparked the federal government investigation that led to the equal rights act for Nevada. He later authored the book “Look Up: Finding My Voice In Las Vegas”, in 2009 the Clark County School District named, Dr. William H. Bailey Middle School, in his honor.