Little Rock Look Back: Mayor Jim Dailey

On July 31, 1942, future Little Rock Mayor Dalton James “Jim” Dailey, Jr. was born to Dalton and Ellen Dailey. After graduating from Little Rock Catholic High School, he attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He joined his father in the family business, Dailey’s Office Furniture.

In 1974, Dailey was elected to the City of Little Rock Board of Directors. He served one four-year term. The last two years of that term, he was the Vice Mayor of Little Rock.

Following that term, he remained engaged in civic activities including serving in leadership capacities in community campaigns. He also served as president of the National Office Products Association – the first Arkansan to do so. Dailey also served as the founding chair of Leadership Greater Little Rock.

In 1988, Dailey was elected to return to the City Board. He was reelected in 1992. Dailey served as Vice Mayor in 1991 and 1992. In January 1993, he was chosen by his fellow City Directors to serve a two year term as Mayor. Under his leadership, the Future-Little Rock goal-setting process took place.

Following a voter-approved change to the City structure, the position of Mayor was changed to be elected by the people while maintaining the City Manager form of government. On January 1, 1995, Jim Dailey was sworn in as the first popularly-elected Mayor of the City of Little Rock in over 38 years.

Dailey has served on the Board of Directors for the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Metroplan, Communities in Schools, Arkansas BioVentures and New Futures for Youth. He was appointed to the National League of Cities Board of Directors and the Municipalities in Transition on Public Finance.

As Mayor, he served as Chair of the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee of the Federal Communications Commission. He was also a member of the United States Conference of Mayor’s Communications Task Force. He also served as president of the Arkansas Municipal League in 2002 and 2003.

To read the full article written by Scott Whitely, PR Director for the City of Little Rock.