Charles A. (Doc) Dudley, Black physician, civic leader, and civil-rights worker, son of Charles Arthur and Nancy Elizabeth Dudley, was born in Waskom, Texas, on January 10, 1894. He graduated from high school at nearby Marshall. After attending Bishop College in Dallas, where he excelled in football and baseball, he entered Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He financed his education by working as a Pullman porter and playing summer baseball in the Negro Professional League with such stars as Satchel Paige.
In 1923, upon completing his medical training, Dudley received a license to practice medicine in Texas. He moved to Victoria on January 1, 1924, and assumed the practice of his cousin, C. A. Whittier, who moved to San Antonio. Dudley long supported public education for Black children in Victoria. Working with teachers at the Black F. W. Gross High School, he helped furnish equipment not supplied by the school board. On January 17, 1940, he organized an athletic council that consisted primarily of Black citizens. The council provided a fence, shrubs, grass, and cement walkways for the school. The school board later named an elementary school for Dudley.
He led a fund-raising drive to establish the George Washington Carver Civic Council, or Carver Center, for the recreational and cultural development of Black youths. He was a member of the American Legion Citizens Committee, the Victoria Chapter of the State Progressive League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. During the struggle to secure voting rights for Blacks, he worked closely with NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, a future United States Supreme Court associate justice. Dudley died on January 24, 1975.
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Biographical File, Victoria Public Library. Victoria Advocate, January 25, 1975.
Health and Medicine
Physicians and Surgeons
Activism and Social Reform
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Agnes A. Jewett,
“Dudley, Charles Arthur, Jr.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 20, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
December 1, 1994
Most Recent Revision Date:
September 9, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: