Saturday, November 8, 2003

Ohio Moments

Ted Berry became Cincinnati mayor

On Nov. 8, 1905, Theodore M. Berry - civil rights leader and Cincinnati's first African-American mayor - was born in poverty to a deaf-mute mother in Maysville.

Mr. Berry was the first black valedictorian at Woodward High School. He put himself through the University of Cincinnati, receiving a law degree. Six years after being admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1932, he became Hamilton County's first black assistant prosecuting attorney.

Berry was also an attorney for the NAACP. In 1942 he was appointed morale officer for the Office of War Information under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He served on the Ohio Committee for Civil Rights Legislation from 1947 to 1961 and won a seat on Cincinnati City Council in 1949 and again in 1963.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Berry head of Community Action Programs under the auspices of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Berry became mayor in 1972. He died in October 2000 at 94.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361

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