Ben was born on the 28th of April, 1940 in Newport, RI to father, Ferdinand Little and mother, Beatrice Delegal Little.

He attended elementary schools in Newport, RI; Savannah, GA; and NYC.

Ben graduated from Rogers High School in Newport, RI in 1959.

He served his country in both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps from 1959-1968. He was stationed in MA, NJ, TX, CA, Greenland, and Panama. He received an honorable discharge in 1968.

He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1972 from Roger Williams University.

Benjamin began his career in equal opportunity when he joined Progress Association for Economic Development as Associate Director. He concentrated on the educational and training aspects of the association.

In 1973 Ben was selected to head the Providence Human Relations Commission (PHRC). The commission under Ben’s leadership became a large influence in Providence securing opportunities for minorities and protecting the city’s minority youths and adult workers from discrimination.

He chaired the city’s Affirmative Action Task Force, and was appointed to the Governor’s Justice Commission of Standards and Goals Project. With the commission Ben introduced a city ordinance that included for the first time the issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

After Ben was selected by the US Dept of Justice’s Community Relations Division to conduct a fact-finding mission in Washington and Texas on “Deadly Use of Force”, the DOJ and PHRC co-sponsored a national conference and invited experts to Providence to address police - community relations and police use of force.

Ben also founded the New England Association of Human Rights Directors and sponsored an exhibit in conjunction with the Oakland Museum entitled “Black Pioneers and Contemporaries in Science and Technology.”

In 1988, Ben earned his Masters Degree in Education Management from Cambridge College.

Ben furthered his career when he joined the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Division in Hartford, CT. After receiving numerous commendations for his work monitoring fair housing and equal opportunity patterns in southern New England municipalities, Ben was selected to head the monitoring and assessment of the City of Boston.

One of Ben's greatest skills and favorite passtimes was cooking. While at home, he would enjoy spending most of his time in the kitchen preparing mouthwatering spreads for every meal.

In 1991, he became Deputy Director of the Housing Authority, Town of Greenwich. Later he assumed the positions of Executive Director and CEO. Under Ben’s leadership, the Housing Authority became a respected part of the Greenwich community. The Greenwich magazine published an article in June 2001 titled “Another Side of Greenwich.” The article followed Ben’s career with the Housing Authority and his mission to instill pride, self-reliance, education, and a sense of responsibility to their community. Ben coordinated with other community organizations and launched Head Start programs in three housing complexes; arranged funding for on-site childcare; and established other programs that opened windows of opportunity for the residents and their children.

The programs included an extremely successful “Resident Independence through Employment” educational program that assisted more than 350 Housing Authority residents to find jobs. An unprecedented program Ben introduced was a “three-month educational program on home ownership … how to obtain a mortgage, and learn about the costs, responsibilities, and benefits of home ownership.”

Ben arranged for the Housing Authority to purchase six condominiums to sell them to residents who completed the program and were approved for a mortgage. The article finishes with a statement from one community program director who worked with many other housing authorities, that he “knows of no executive director who has greater initiatives in affording a quality of life and creating opportunity for public housing residents than Ben Little.”

Ben retired in 2003 and often fondly recalled his retirement party surrounded by respected colleagues and friends.

In retirement, Ben surprised family and friends by taking up art classes and producing stunning watercolor paintings. His work was showcased in a Veteran’s exhibit in a Hartford, CT art gallery and he placed third in a Pennsylvania art fair.

"Art in the Park" Exhibit in Allentown, PA 2013.
Veteran's Month Art Exhibition at the Conrad L. Mallett Art Gallery, Hartford, CT 2017.

While fighting dementia, Ben spent the last years of his life with family in Pennsylvania. There he continued his art of bragging about all of his family members to everyone he met. Ben greeted everyone with his kind eyes and welcoming smile. He left this life full of love and pride on September 5, 2021 in Allentown, PA.

With wife, Juliana Crane; son, Ben Jr.; daughter-in-law, Leila; and grand-daughters, Jasmine, Ava, and Ella; in Bethlehem, PA 2018