Roscoe R. Nix Biography

Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award

Roscoe R. Nix, a champion of civil rights, was one of the major architects of the modern Montgomery County. Born in Greenville, Alabama, Mr. Nix served in the Army in World War II and graduated from Howard University. When Mr. Nix and his wife Emma moved here in 1968 with their two children, Montgomery County was a rural-suburban community just beginning to emerge from its segregationist past. Montgomery County has not been the same since.

Professionally, Mr. Nix was a peacemaker travelling the nation on behalf of the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service helping to resolve conflicts in communities experiencing civil unrest. At home in Montgomery County, Mr. Nix was the County’s leading advocate for equity and justice for nearly half a century. A staunch critic of de facto school segregation, Mr. Nix became the second African American elected to the Montgomery County Board of Education in 1974. As the president of the County’s chapter of the NAACP from 1980 to 1990, Mr. Nix was a fearless and tireless advocate for educational excellence and social, economic, and political justice. Because of his extraordinary life of service and sacrifice, Montgomery County is a better place. It is a more welcoming and compassionate place. And it is certainly a more just place, a model of tolerance and forward thinking for the nation and the world.

The County’s annual African American Festival of Academic Excellence celebrating the academic achievements of African American students is among his proudest accomplishments. In 2006, Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School was established to honor his advocacy for educational excellence. A proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a charter member of The Church of The Redeemer Presbyterian, Mr. Nix was inducted into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2001.

Roscoe Nix died on January 4, 2012. At Mr. Nix’s memorial service on January 12, 2012, County Executive Ike Leggett announced that he would establish an award in Mr. Nix’s name and that he would present the first of these awards to Mr. Nix posthumously for his service to Montgomery County.