Former UNC President William Friday Undergoes Heart Surgery

One of North Carolina’s finest, Dr. William Friday (b. 1920), underwent heart surgery at UNC Hospitals on Tuesday.  He is said to be doing well.

As a 20th century leader of the University standing second in accomplishments perhaps only to Frank Porter Graham (1886-1972) — who served as the first president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina and was also briefly a U.S. Senator — Friday served as president of the University of North Carolina System from 1956-86, overseeing an expansion which by 1971 would include 16 member institutions.  His gentle, easy manner is familiar to virtually all North Carolinians through his long-running talk show on public television, North Carolina People.     

If you’re interested in reading more about Bill Friday, some years ago William A. Link, who used to be a history professor at UNC-Greensboro, wrote William Friday:  Power, Purpose, and American Higher Education.  You can also find a brief biography of Friday in Biography Reference Bank or search for an entry on him in the electronic edition of William S. Powell’s Dictionary of North Carolina Biography in NetLibrary via NCLive.


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