Dr. Joseph W. Parker, Jr.

Dr. Joseph Willis Parker Jr. was born November 15, 1916 in Edgecombe County. He received an undergraduate degree from Johnson C. Smith University in 1939 and a medical Degree from Howard University in 1949.


Parker contributed his time and efforts to the community of Edgecombe county as a General Practice Doctor. He cared for the less fortunate along with the indigenous community of Edgecombe county and was even known to still make house visits. After Dr. Parker retired, fellow Twin County Hall of Fame Inductee Dr. James Edward Bryant acquired his medical practice.


While being a pillar in Edgecombe county as a medical doctor and community leader, he was also an advocate for education while serving on the Rocky Mount Board of Education. He believed that education was the key to success and making life better. Parker and his parents were big advocates of ensuring that local African American students were educated and with the help of his fraternity, raised over $50K for the United Negro Fund. He once raised enough funds to fill the local theatre with kids form his Holly Street community and was said to be the first to do this in his time.


A local school, J.W. Parker Middle School, was named in his honor and continues to serve as a vital part of educating our youth in Edgecombe County. Parker was a collector of jazz music, artwork and sports cars throughout his life.

Leadership Roles & Accomplishments:

  • First African American to be on the Rocky Mount School Board, 1957 
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
  • Rocky Mount Board of Education
  • North Carolina Guardsmen
  • Member of NAACP

Inducted in 2021