2015 Champion for Children Senator Dan Blue

Honoree_SenatorDanBlue_PhotoDaniel T. Blue, Jr. was born in Lumberton, NC. He excelled in school and attended NC Central University earning a B.S. Degree in Mathematics in 1970 then furthered his career by attending Duke University School of Law and graduated in 1973.

Hired by one of North Carolina’s leading law firms, Sanford, Cannon, Adams & McCullough, Blue became one of the first blacks to integrate the state’s major law firms.  However, a desire to own his own practice inspired him to form a practice with several associates in 1976. Today he serves as managing partner of that firm: Blue, Stephens and Fellers in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 1980, Blue was elected to the NC House of Representatives, representing Wake County. He was re-elected ten times and held several leadership positions in the House, including chairman of a Judiciary and an Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus from 1984-89.

From 1991 – 1995, Blue was twice elected Speaker of the House. After 22 years in the NC House, he left the Legislature to run for US Senate in 2002. He returned to the House in 2006 and now serves in State Senate as Senate Minority Leader.

Dan Blue has been recognized throughout the state and country as one of America’s outstanding political leaders and is the recipient of dozens of national and state awards, including the 4-H National Alumni Award and the Adam Clayton Powell Leadership Award. He has served on the executive committees of the Southern Legislative Conference, the State and Local Legal Center in Washington, DC and as a member of the Democratic National Committee. He also served as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the umbrella group of all the state legislative chambers in the country.

Blue is regarded as an exceptional lawyer and has represented clients throughout America on a wide range of issues before administrative agencies and courts, including multi-district litigation matters and has been awarded the Joseph Branch Professionalism Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Wake County Bar Association and various awards from statewide lawyers groups.

Mr. Blue is the recipient of nine honorary doctorate degrees from North Carolina institutions, including NC Central University, UNC Chapel Hill, and Winston-Salem State University. He has been a visiting instructor at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University and has been a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Dan was elected to the Duke University Board of Trustees in 1995 and served as Chairman from 2009-11. He was elected trustee emeritus after 16 years on the board. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Duke University Health System, where he is chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee. He has served on the Executive Board for the Center on Ethics in Government and Advocacy in Denver, Colorado, and the Advisory Council for the Association of Governing Boards for Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC. He serves as a corporate member of the Research Triangle Institute. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and a 33rd degree Prince Hall Mason. He serves as Senior Grand Attorney for the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons, Jurisdiction of North Carolina, Inc.

Dan Blue resides in Raleigh with his wife, the former Edna Earle Smith. They have three adult children, all of whom are lawyers, and seven grandchildren. The family attends Davie Street Presbyterian Church where Dan serves as an Elder. Among his interests and hobbies are reading, education policy, and team sports.