Arthur Allen Fletcher, known to many as the father of affirmative action, was born on December 22, 1924, in Phoenix, Arizona. Little is known of Fletcher’s birth father, but his mother, Edna, soon married Buffalo Soldier Andrew Fletcher, who would eventually adopt Arthur. The family moved from one Army base to another for much of Arthur’s childhood before finally settling in Junction City, Kansas.
Fletcher graduated from Junction City High School in 1943, after leading a protest against the school yearbook which placed the photos of black students in a separate section in the back of the publication. Fletcher in his senior year organized a boycott of the segregated yearbook and the following year the practice was permanently dropped.