Lionel Wilson (politician)

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Lionel J. Wilson
OakCAMayorLJWilson.png
45th Mayor of Oakland
In office
July 1, 1977 – January 7, 1991
Preceded by John H. Reading
Succeeded by Elihu M. Harris
Personal details
Born (1915-03-14)March 14, 1915
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died February 23, 1998(1998-02-23) (aged 82)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Residence Oakland, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Profession Politician

Lionel J. Wilson (March 14, 1915 – February 23, 1998) was an African American political figure and a member of the Democratic Party. He was the first African American mayor of Oakland, California, serving three-terms as mayor of Oakland from 1977 until 1991.

He attended UC Berkeley.

He lost the 1990 mayoral election to Elihu Harris after making an expensive and unsuccessful bid to return the then Los Angeles Raiders to Oakland.

Wilson was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He, along with Allen Broussard, was also part of the coterie that used to gather at the pharmacy of William Byron Rumford, another important African American in Northern California politics.

Before his election as Oakland's mayor, Wilson served as presiding judge of the Alameda County Superior Court.

Prior to his involvement in politics, Wilson was a professional baseball player. In 1946, he pitched for the Oakland Larks as part of the short-lived West Coast Negro Baseball League.

In 2002, Aspire Public Schools founded a small 6-12 grade school called Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland. The high school located in Oakland was named after Lionel Wilson in his honor. Lionel Wilson as a show of respect has a large portrait located inside of the school.

Lionel Wilson died on February 23, 1998 of cancer; he was 82.

Political offices
Preceded by
John H. Reading
Mayor of Oakland, California
1977—1991
Succeeded by
Elihu Harris