Archibald Carey Jr. followed his famous father of
the same name to become a major figure in Chicago’s
political and religious life during much of the 20th Century. Over his career he was an attorney, judge,
politician, minister, and bank president.
Born in Chicago in 1908, to Archibald
Carey, Sr., and Elizabeth Hill Davis Carey, he attended both Chicago-Kent
College of Law and Northwestern
Biblical Institute where he earned degrees in law and theology. Between 1930
and 1941 he was pastor of the Woodland African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME)
in Chicago until he moved to Quinn Chapel
AME Church, the second oldest black
church in the city and the place where his father had been the minister for a
number of years. Carey preached there until
Carey, a Republican, was elected an alderman from Chicago’s Third Ward and
served on the Chicago City Council from 1947 to 1955. In 1952 Carey was one of
the speakers at the Republican National Convention which met in Chicago. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was
nominated for President at that convention, appointed Carey an alternate
delegate to the United Nations, a post he held from 1953 to 1956. In 1955
President Eisenhower appointed him the chairman of the President’s Committee on
Government Employment Policy. He was the
first African American to chair this committee.
Through the 1950s Archibald Carey, Jr. maintained a
close connection with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While visiting the home of Dr.
King in 1956, Carey participated in the Montgomery Improvement Association’s
Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change. Carey was enlisted by Dr.
King throughout the year long Montgomery bus
boycott to raise money and public awareness in Chicago of the protest. In April 1957, Carey
assisted in organizing an “Hour of Prayer” that raised $2,500 for the
Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA).
In 1966 Carey changed his party affiliation to
Democrat. That year he was elected a Cook
County circuit court
judge and served in that capacity until 1978 when he retired at the age of
Archibald Carey Jr. died on April 20, 1981 in Chicago.