Jesse E. Palmer Sr. of Meridian, Miss., attended Meridian Public Schools before pursuing a degree in mathematics and science at Mississippi Industrial College and a master's at Tuskegee Institute.
He retired after 34 years in education as a math teacher and football, basketball and baseball coach. Palmer also served the city of Meridian on the Transportation Commission and as a councilman under the leadership of three mayors over a total of 24 years.
During his time on the city council, he served as president and vice president of the council. In 2008, Palmer was elected to the Mississippi Hall of Fame. His positive influence on hundreds of students, parents, athletes and business and civic leaders led to the Meridian mayor's designation of August 17, 2013, as Jesse E. Palmer Sr. Day. In his proclamation, the mayor called on the people of Meridian "to congratulate, honor and recognize the achievements of this notable public servant."