Richard Fulton

Richard Fulton
Richard H. Fulton.png
2nd Mayor of Metropolitan Nashville
In office
Preceded byBeverly Briley
Succeeded byBill Boner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1963 – August 14, 1975
Preceded byJ. Carlton Loser
Succeeded byClifford Allen
Member of the Tennessee State Senate
In office
Personal details
Richard Harmon Fulton

(1927-01-27)January 27, 1927
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedNovember 28, 2018(2018-11-28) (aged 91)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Tennessee

Richard Harmon Fulton (January 27, 1927 – November 28, 2018) was an American Democratic politician who served as a member of the Tennessee State Senate and of the United States House of Representatives, and the second mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Personal life[edit]

Fulton was born in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] He graduated from East Nashville High School and served in the United States Navy in World War II.[2] After returning from his military service, he entered the University of Tennessee where he played for the Volunteers on the football team.[3] He died on November 28, 2018, at a hospice in Nashville at the age of 91.[1]

Political career[edit]

State Senate[edit]

In 1954, Fulton was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in place of his brother Lyle, who died from cancer suddenly shortly after receiving the Democratic nomination for that post.[2] Fulton was sworn in on January 3, 1955, but because he was only 29, below the minimum age for Senators under the Tennessee State Constitution, the Senate voted unanimously (28–0) to unseat him.[4] Fulton could not serve in the Senate until he was elected in 1956 at the age of 31.[1] He was reelected to the Senate in 1958, then left politics to begin a career in real estate.[5]


In 1962, he entered the Democratic primary for the Nashville-based 5th Congressional District against incumbent Congressman Joseph Carlton Loser.[1] The election commission initially declared Loser the winner; however, a friend of Fulton successfully filed suit to throw out the primary results after The Tennessean reported corruption at the commission.[1] In the rerun of the primary, Fulton defeated Loser and was victorious in November.[1] Fulton voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968,[6][7] and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[8] He resigned from the House after his election as mayor.[9]

Mayor of Nashville[edit]

Fulton served three terms as mayor of Nashville, Tennessee from 1975 until 1987.[1] He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1978 and 1986.[10] In 1999, he embarked on a comeback mayoral bid where he made it to the runoff election, but then withdrew and endorsed his opponent Bill Purcell.[1]

During his tenure as mayor, Fulton was an influential voice in the development of key downtown streets, Riverfront Park, the Nashville Convention Center, the construction of Interstate 440, the expanded use of the Metro Development and Housing Agency and established 485 acres (196 ha) of parks in the city.[1]


External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
J. Carlton Loser
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Clifford Allen
Political offices
Preceded by
Beverly Briley
Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee
Succeeded by
Bill Boner