Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Family of Winnfred Wright

A Troubled Youth

The saga of The Family began in 1956, when Wright was born in suburban Washington, D.C., to a close-knit family headed by a homemaker and a truck driver. Although Wright excelled at sports and academics as a boy, becoming a track and football star as well as an honor-roll student, he was also tremendously affected by the racial tensions that characterized the 1960s.

The Wrights were one of the few black families in their neighborhood, and the Wright children stood out amid the sea of white students at school. No matter how much he excelled, Winnfred Wright always felt the sting of his skin color and the limitations it imposed.

"Prejudice was always the underlying thing," his older sister, Gayle Edmondsen, told SF Weekly reporter Lessley Anderson, who did extensive research on The Family.

 Wright received a scholarship to attend the University of Arizona, where his sister was studying, but later transferred to Golden Gate University in San Francisco, where he got a degree in administrative justice and graduated with honors.

University of San Francisco
University of San Francisco

While he attended law school at the University of San Francisco in the late 70s, he also worked for the federal government, researching Medicare claims. During this period, he met and married a young black woman in a non-binding civil ceremony that was attended by both of their families.


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