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This Friday, the District is renaming the 700 block of 10th Street—-right in the heart of downtown between Metro Center and Chinatown—-“Bud Doggett Way.”
Born in 1920, Doggett grew up near Union Station, back in the days when it was called Swampoodle, not NoMa. He was known as a philanthropist and “parking lot tycoon,” according to his obituary in the Washington Post last August. In 1967, Doggett became the president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. He founded an organization called Heroes Inc., which gave money to the families of fallen police officers.
Here’s a bit more from his obituary:
[Doggett] spearheaded projects that helped rejuvenate the city’s downtown slums. City leaders advancing a worthy cause knew that they could count on Mr. Doggett. He would ask, “Are you sure that’s all you need?” and end the conversation by saying, “The check is in the mail.” Most recently, Mr. Doggett was a driving force behind the District’s impressive Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Mr. Doggett’s friends say that his concern for the city stemmed from his humble roots. He was born in 1920 and grew up in an Irish tenement in an area near Union Station that immigrants affectionately called “Swamppoodle.” After serving in World War II, he went to work for his parents, who owned a small number of parking lots downtown. Mr. Doggett started out working as a valet, often babysitting jalopies filled with children while their parents took in a show. He eventually took over the parking lot business from his father and expanded aggressively, amassing a lucrative portfolio of real estate.