Charles Ridley

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Charles Ridley, also called the Peanut Man, (born 1956-died spring 2015) was co-chair of Citizens United for Regional Transit and for 34 years sold peanuts at the corner of 20th Street and 5th Avenue North during the business day.

Ridley began buying bags of peanuts from the Peanut Depot on Morris Avenue in 1974. Afflicted with cerebral palsy, he used crutches until 1992 when he got his first wheelchair. He has since had to replace the wheelchair three times due to wear and tear; a factor in his decision to retire from street vending in Spring 2007.

In 2004 Ridley's chair lodged in a deep curb cut at 20th Street and 1st Avenue North, flinging him onto the roadway and breaking both his legs.

Ridley moved from his Woodlawn apartment to a nursing home in 2014. He died in spring 2015 of colon cancer.


  • Coman, Victoria L. (May 22, 2007) "Corner peanut peddler decides to pack it in." The Birmingham News
  • Folasade, John (June 26, 2008) "Curbs remain an obstacle for the handicapped as Birmingham struggles with ADA compliance." The Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg (May 15, 2015) "Street vendor 'Peanut Man' fought for mass transit, wheelchair access." The Birmingham News