Lionel Wilson

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Date of Birth March 14, 1915
Place of Birth New Orleans, Louisiana
Date of Death Feb 23, 1998 (82)
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Lionel Wilson (politician)

Lionel Joseph Wilson was an American political figure and a member of the Democratic Party. He was the first black mayor of Oakland, California, serving three terms as mayor of Oakland from 1977 until 1991.

Born: March 14, 1915, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died: January 23, 1998, Oakland, California, U.S.
Political party: Democratic
Spouse(s): Gloria Towns (m. 1942)
Residence: Oakland, California, U.S.
Profession: Politician
Preceded by: John H. Reading
Succeeded by: Elihu M. Harris

About Lionel Wilson

When he took office in 1977 as Oakland, California's forty-fifth mayor, this Democrat became the first African American politician to fill the position. He remained Mayor of Oakland until early 1991.

Before Fame

Before beginning his political career, he was a baseball pitcher for the Oakland Larks.


Oakland's Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy was named in his honor.

Family Life

He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and he later relocated to Northern California, where he attended the University of California, Berkeley.


He and Harold Washington were the first African American mayors of their respective cities (Oakland, California and Chicago, Illinois).

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  • Mayors of Oakland, California
  • African-American history in Oakland, California
  • African-American people in California politics
  • American jurists
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law alumni
  • California state court judges
  • African-American mayors
  • Superior court judges in the United States
  • African-American lawyers
  • African-American judges
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Latest information about Lionel Wilson updated on March 02, 2021.

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