Congresswoman Maxine Waters is married to Sid Williams, a businessman, former NFL player and diplomat. Waters and her husband live in Los Angeles. Waters, a Democrat, represents the 43rd Congressional District in California and has been a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, while receiving attacks from him and his supporters.
Waters, 79, drew Trump’s ire and outrage from his supporters after calling for liberals to confront administration officials when they seem them in public. Waters, speaking at a rally in her home state, told her supporters, “If you think we’re rallying now you ain’t seen nothing yet. If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Trump responded on Twitter, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!”
Here’s what you need to know about Sid Williams, Maxine Waters’ husband:
1. Williams & Waters Have Been Married Since 1977
Maxine Waters and Sid Williams have been married since 1977. They met as she was making her rise through politics in the Los Angeles area, according to the Los Angeles Times. They both worked for former Los Angeles City Councilman David Cunningham in the 1970s, overlapping at one point. She was Cunningham’s chief of staff until she was elected to the state Assembly. Williams replaced Waters in that role, according to the Times.
Williams was by Waters’ side as she rose from the state Assembly to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was first elected to Congress in 1990.
Waters, whose maiden name is Maxine Moore, was previously married to Edward Waters from 1956 to 1972, when they divorced. She has two children from her first marriage, Edward Jr. and Karen Waters. She and Williams do not have any children together.
2. He Grew Up in Houston & Played College Football at Southern University Before Six Seasons as a Linebacker in the NFL
Williams, 76, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and grew up in Houston, Texas, graduating from Wheatley High School, where he was a football star. After school, Williams returned to Louisiana, where he played college football at Southern University in Baton Rouge.
Williams was a linebacker and was drafted in the 16th round, 222nd overall, of the 1964 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He spent three seasons in Cleveland, winning the 1964 NFL Championship with the Browns. In 1967 he was traded to the New York Giants, but was released before playing a game for them. He spent that season in Washington, followed by a season with the Baltimore Colts, where he won his second NFL Championship and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He retired after the 1968 season after playing in 70 games.
During his NFL career, Williams took a stand on social issues. One June 4, 1967, he and other black athletes appeared alongside Muhammad Ali at a press conference in Cleveland to express support for his refusal to be drafted into the U.S. Army, according to Cleveland.com. Along with Ali, Williams shared the stage with several African-American sports stars, including Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell.
3. Williams Went Into Business & Politics After His NFL Career & Was the U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas Under President Clinton From 1994 to 1998
After his playing career, Williams moved to California completed his master’s degree at Pepperdine University and began a career in business and politics. He worked as a legislative aide, where he met Maxine Waters, and as a business developer with the Black Economic Union in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles redevelopment agency, according to Cleveland.com. He also worked at a Mercedes dealership.
His Cleveland Browns teammate, Jim Brown, was once his business partner, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve always admired him because she’s very flamboyant, and I’ve never sensed in him any insecurity,” Brown told the Times in 1994. “That can be difficult for many men–to have a flamboyant, dynamic wife.”
Waters was an early supporter of President Bill Clinton, and after Clinton’s election, her husband was chosen as Clinton’s ambassador to the Bahamas, according to the Los Angeles Times. He served in that position from 1994 to 1998.
“He’s the sort of guy who should be an ambassador,” said Dawson, who remembers teasing Williams because he often wore that sartorial emblem of the East Coast Establishment: a bow tie. “He’s kind of reserved, rather conservative,” his friend and fellow former car dealer, Andre Dawson, told the Times. “I’m a little more aggressive than I have to be. He’s real cool and confident. He’s like a Clint Eastwood character. If you got this guy upset, you would never know it.”
Williams has at times been too involved in Waters’ Congressional career, according to a Politico report from 2015. According to the political news site, he was seen several times that year on or around the House floor.
“A doorkeeper told him Monday that he could not enter the speaker’s lobby,” Politico reported on February 3, 2015. “Congressional spouses do not have floor privileges and are not allowed on the House floor, in the cloakrooms or in the speaker’s lobby.”
But Waters’ spokesperson at the time denied Williams had walked onto the House floor and told Politico he had not been asked to leave, despite what reporters saw. “And regarding his alleged attempt to enter the Speaker’s lobby, Congresswoman Waters’ husband has mistakenly ventured into the lobby searching for the bathroom, at which point, he was directed to go a different way,” House said. “Nevertheless, that was no attempt to subvert any rules; it was merely a mistake that dozens of staffers and visitors commit for any myriad of innocuous reasons,” Jermaine House said at the time.
4. Waters Was Cleared of Ethics Violations After Being Accused of Arranging a Meeting Between the Treasury Department & a Bank Her Husband Owns Shares In
Williams and Waters have been embroiled in controversy together before, and President Trump’s supporters have used those past incidents to attack her. After Trump first called out Waters in 2016 and 2017, new articles began to pop up online claiming she was facing ethics charges in connection to dealings her husband was involved in. But those articles were actually referencing an investigation from 2010 that was eventually dropped nearly three years later after she was cleared of wrongdoing.
According to The Hill, Waters was accused of setting up a meeting between executives from One United Bank, where Williams owned $350,000 in stock, and Treasury Department officials. Investigators found Waters had taken steps to remove herself from bailout talks involving the bank her husband owned the large stake in.
“I was pleased but not surprised that the House Ethics Committee found no reason to bring any charges against my colleague Maxine Waters,” then-Rep. Barney Frank in a statement. “As the Ethics Committee has made clear, neither Representative Waters nor I ever intervened specifically to try to influence any decision by the financial regulators as to whether or not such funds should be advanced.”
Her grandson, Mikael Moore, who was her chief of staff, was issued a letter of reproval, the lightest sanction possible, for helping One United Bank.
The Los Angeles Times reported in 2004 that Williams, along with Waters’ two children, have business links to influential people she has helped.
5. Williams & Waters Live in a $4.8 Million Home in Los Angeles
Sid Williams and his wife, Rep. Maxine Waters, live in a $4.8 million home in Los Angeles, according to online records. They bought the house in 2004 for $2.9 million. According to OpenSecrets, the couple had a net worth of at least $275,505 in 2016.
In 2017, Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson asked how Waters how a career politician could afford a multi-million dollar home in Los Angeles. She responded in an interview in the New York Times Magazine, “I own several properties. The way Carlson talked about it is: What right does an African-American woman have to do well?” Waters told New York Times Magazine. “He doesn’t know anything about my investments, about the house that I’ve lived in for 25, 30 years. This idea of ‘how could she afford that?’ is racist, and I just dismiss it.”
A 2018 project by the Los Angeles Times found that Waters and Williams have at least $1.5 million in assets, but also has at least $1.4 million in liabilities. They own at least one other property, worth at least $15,001, and two other properties worth at least $1,001. They also have investments in American Golf Jt Venture, OneUnited Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, along with IRAs at Merrill Lynch, the Times found.