Daisy Dorothy Riley-Lloyd, Ph.D., D.Min.

Daisy Dorothy Riley-Lloyd, Ph.D., D.Min.
(10/15/1923 – 5/15/2019)

Born in Kansas, Riley-Lloyd moved to Washington, D.C. after high school to study economics and sociology at Howard University, where she found work as a researcher at the Library of Congress. It was also there that she met a Howard University Medical student, Frank Perry Lloyd, and they were married in 1949. After living in Germany where her husband served in the Army, the Lloyds moved to Indianapolis in 1952 after he accepted a position with Methodist Hospital. She was a full time homemaker with four children, yet she remained very active the community.

Credit: Capitol and Washington

As the Civil Rights movement gained momentum, the state Democratic Party asked Riley-Lloyd to seek political office and she was elected in 1965, becoming the first Black woman to serve in the Indiana General Assembly. During her term in office, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in a daring move at the time, she publicly shared her disease and treatment, along with her plans to return to office as soon as she was able.

She remained active after her political career, first in real estate where she eventually started her own company, Northside Realty, in the early 1970s. Through her company she worked to open the housing market to Black families. She also continued her education and earned an M.A. Degree in Psychology and Religion from Christian Theological Seminary/Butler University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Human Development and Family Studies. She then taught Family Sociology at IUPUI and built her own counseling practice. Another bout with breast cancer led her to deepen her own spiritual roots and she sponsored retreats with an emphasis on using the arts to deepen one’s faith.

Throughout her life Riley-Lloyd was active on many boards and received many awards, including the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from three different governors.

Location: Section 88, Lot 3; GPS (39.8189907, -86.1765674)