Fife, Francis H., 1920-2015
Francis H. Fife was born in Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia, graduating in 1941. He then joined the military and served in World War II. He received a graduate degree in banking from Rutgers University in 1950 and made his first run for public office that same year, losing his bid for a seat on the Charlottesville City Council.
Fife was married to fellow former mayor Nancy O'Brien.
He led the fight for civil rights and adequate housing throughout the 1950s and 1960s as a founder of the housing foundation and by serving on the city’s Housing Advisory Committee, which pushed for several public housing sites to better integrate communities.
Fife sat eight years on the Charlottesville City Council, including two years as mayor from 1972 to 1974.
Fife was a member of the governance board of several government agencies and non-profit organizations. They included the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Housing Authority, the Charlottesville Housing Foundation and the Piedmont Housing Alliance. He was also a founder and former President of the Rivanna Trails Foundation. He was also on the Board of Directors for the group Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population. Fife served as Chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission in the early 1980s and was also a former chair of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.
Fife died on October 16, 2015 at the age of 95. A city park, street and neighborhood are named in honor of Fife family members.