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  Washington, Harold
CANDIDATE DETAILS
AffiliationDemocratic  
 
NameHarold Washington
Address
Chicago, Illinois , United States
EmailNone
WebsiteNone
Born April 15, 1922
DiedNovember 25, 1987 (65 years)
ContributorWishful Thinking
Last ModifedRBH
Jan 31, 2016 04:33am
Tags Black - Divorced - Methodist -
InfoHarold Washington (1922-1987) was the first African-American mayor of Chicago.

Born in Cook County Hospital on April 15, 1922, Harold Washington lived on the South Side for all his early life. He worked in a meat packing company until joining the Army in 1942. After his discharge, he entered Roosevelt College, one of the few schools allowing enrollment of Blacks. He was elected class president in 1948, and in 1952 graduated from Northwestern University Law School.

Washington entered the world of politics in 1954 as corporation counsel for the 3rd Ward democratic organization. He organized the Young Democrats, which grew into a powerful organization for minorities. In 1964, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. During his time in the legislature, he sponsored many anti-discrimination bills and was instrumental in having Martin Luther King's birthday recognized as a holiday in Illinois.

In 1972, Washington served 36 days in Cook County Jail for failure to file an income tax return for four years.

Washington ran for mayor shortly after Richard J. Daley's death in 1976, but was largely unnoticed, recieving only 11 percent of the vote. In 1977, he won a seat in the state senate, and became U.S. representative in 1980, reelected in 1982.

Washington ran for mayor again in 1983, and defeated Mayor Jane Byrne in the Democratic primary. He then went on to defeat Republican Bernard Epton.

As mayor, Washington was bitterly opposed by alderman Ed Vrdolyak, who controlled a majority of the city council. Vrdolyak's block consistently voted against Washington at every opportunity. Court-ordered redistricting in 1985 reduced Vrdolyak's majority, giving Washington a majority.

Washington won re-election in 1987, but was struck down by a heart attack on November 25th. His body lay in state in city hall. Services were held in Christ Universal Temple on south Ashland. On Novmber 30th, he was interred at Oak Woods.



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DISCUSSION
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FAMILY

INFORMATION LINKS
RACES
  04/07/1987 Chicago Mayor Won 53.77% (+11.81%)
  02/24/1987 Chicago Mayor - D Primary Won 53.50% (+7.22%)
  04/12/1983 Chicago Mayor Won 51.72% (+3.73%)
  02/22/1983 Chicago Mayor - D Primary Won 36.28% (+2.64%)
  11/02/1982 IL District 1 Won 97.28% (+94.57%)
  11/04/1980 IL District 1 Won 95.48% (+90.96%)
  03/18/1980 IL District 1 - D Primary Won 47.71% (+28.40%)
  11/07/1978 IL State Senate 26 Won 81.43% (+62.87%)
  04/19/1977 Chicago Mayor- D Primary Lost 10.73% (-40.37%)
  11/02/1976 IL State Senate 26 Won 95.18% (+90.35%)
  03/16/1976 IL State Senate 26 - D Primary Won 56.70% (+13.39%)
  01/08/1975 Illinois Speaker of the House Lost 0.00% (-52.66%)
  11/05/1974 IL State House 026 Won 41.40% (+1.07%)
  03/19/1974 IL State House 026 - D Primary Won 24.81% (+0.00%)
  11/07/1972 IL State House 026 Won 37.23% (+1.63%)
  03/21/1972 IL State House 026 - D Primary Won 40.07% (+7.55%)
  11/03/1970 IL State House 026 Won 45.19% (+0.00%)
  03/17/1970 IL State House 026 - D Primary Won 37.57% (+0.00%)
  11/05/1968 IL State House 026 Won 48.29% (+3.16%)
  06/11/1968 IL State House 026 - D Primary Won 51.58% (+16.11%)
  11/08/1966 IL State House 026 Won 44.20% (+1.38%)
  06/14/1966 IL State House 026 - D Primary Won 57.68% (+23.11%)
  11/03/1964 IL State House At-Large Won 0.44% (-0.02%)
ENDORSEMENTS
Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Courts - D Primary - Mar 15, 1988 D Aurelia Marie Pucinski
IL State House 006 - Nov 04, 1986 I Allin Walker
Chicago Ward 18 - Special Election - Mar 18, 1986 D Monica Faith Stewart
Chicago Ward 22 - Special Election - Mar 18, 1986 D Jesus G. "Chuy" Garcia
Chicago Ward 25 - Special Election - Mar 18, 1986 N Juan A. Velazquez
Chicago Ward 31 - Special Election - Mar 18, 1986 N Migdalia Collazo
Chicago Ward 37 - Special Election - Mar 18, 1986 D Percy Giles
IL District 1 - Special D Primary - Jul 26, 1983 D Charles A. Hayes