On March 23, 1938, Atlanta’s first Black mayor, Maynard H. Jackson Jr., was born in Dallas, Texas. Jackson’s family moved to Atlanta in 1945 when his father accepted a job as pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church. He went on to attend Morehouse College through a special program and graduated at just 18.
Before his election as mayor, Jackson earned a J.D. from the Carolina Central University School of Law and worked as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. In 1969, Jackson was elected vice-mayor and, in 1973, he won the city’s mayoral race — making him the first African-American to hold the office and the first Black mayor of a southern city.
Jackson served two consecutive terms and was re-elected in 1990 for a third term.
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