North Carolina’s Bill Friday and 70-Year Marriage

Charles Ullman located in Raleigh NC

Former UNC President William Friday was recently admitted to UNC Hospital with an illness. We’re pleased to report he has recovered and returned home.

Friday is one of our great education leaders, leading the UNC system for 30 years. He has also been an example for all North Carolina married couples.  As news of Friday’s illness spread, the Carrboro Citizen focused on his 70-year marriage. It’s a touching story, and we wanted to share the newspaper’s account of their first date:

“They met on a blind date in 1941, the year each graduated from college. Greater University Day was coming up, and Bill was the only class officer without a date. The student body president asked his girlfriend if her roommate would agree to be Bill’s date.  Ida agreed, and about a year later they married at Hayes Barton Methodist Church in Raleigh, because, Bill said, they “couldn’t find a Baptist preacher.”

Asked some years ago during a television interview if it was love at first sight, Ida quickly replied, “Heavens, no!”

“I had to work hard, but wasn’t going to let her get away,” Bill said last week.


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