Senator Michael “Doc” Rhett was born in Harlem in New York City, growing up in building 1315 of General Grant Public Housing on 125th Street. His father, Harold Rhett, was a Korean War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient who following his time in the military worked in the textile industry. His mother, Lillie Rhett, worked in various areas, including as a nurse’s aide, a domestic, and a Board of Elections Supervisor.
Mr. Rhett attended the State University of New York in Albany getting a double bachelors in Rhetoric and Communications and African American Studies. Throughout the years he also received a bachelor’s degree in business education from the University of Central Oklahoma, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma, a specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University and a doctorate’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia. Senator Rhett worked in insurance for about 2 years following his graduation from the State University of New York, before joining the Air Force around the age of 25. Instead of going in as an officer, he enlisted, working in the Air Force until his retirement in 2015 as a Master Sergeant. He managed personnel, prepared young individuals for leadership, and worked as a training instructor for the 700th Airlift Squadron. As part of his 25 plus years of enlisted service, he received the United States Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.
Senator Michael Rhett was first elected to the state Senate in 2014 to represent a portion of Cobb County. He is the first African American resident to be elected to the state Senate from Cobb County.
Michael "Doc" Rhett, 2023-11-08, Kennesaw State University oral history series, Kennesaw State University Oral History Project, 1973- , KSU/45/05/001, Kennesaw State University Archives.
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