Otto M. Fridia Biography

  • Otto M. Fridia Jr. was considered a leader, mentor and friend to many students, staff and fellow teachers at the Dallas Independent School District throughout his life. He spent the majority of his life educating students and creating future leaders.

    Otto M. Fridia Jr. was born on May 20, 1924 in Waco, Texas. Throughout his life, education was a priority. He graduated from Moore High School in Waco, TX, and went on to college to receive his bachelor's degree from Prarie View University. He continued his education by earning a master's degree in Guidance Counseling and Administration from New York University.

    Fridia later served in the military and fought in World War II. After serving in the military, he returned to Dallas to begin his teaching career at Booker T. Washington High School. During that time, he also served as a counselor at Booker T. Washington. He later became the principal at Roger Q. Mills Elementary School. 

    He went on to become the assistant principal at Lincoln High School from 1965-1970. He was appointed to serve as the district's deputy assistant superintendent in June 1970. He also served as a line officer to the Inner City School System and designed programs that helped increase parental involvement. 

    He later served as deputy superintendent, and then became the acting general superintendent from October 1987 to June 1988. This made him the first African American acting as general superintendent for the Dallas Independent School District. 

    Throughout his career, Otto M. Fridia was recognized with several awards, honors, and tributes for the contributions he made to education in Dallas. In 2006, he was inducted into the African American Education Archives and History. Otto M. Fridia Jr. Alternative High School was named in his honor, but soon closed in 2009.

    Fridia was also an active member of the National Association of Black School Educators, National Association of Secondary School Principals, Dallas School Administrators Association, The American Association of School Administators, St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, Phi Delta Kappa International, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 

    He passed away on February 10, 2000. He was 75 years old. 

Image of Otto M. Fridia Jr.