Adam Clayton Powell IV

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Adam Clayton Powell IV
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 68th district
In office
January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Nelson Antonio Denis
Succeeded by Robert J. Rodriguez
Personal details
Born July 1962 (age 54)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Spouse(s) Andrea Dial (divorced)
Alma mater Howard University
Fordham University
Profession Politician

Adam Clayton Powell IV (born Adam Clayton Powell Diago[1] in 1962) is an American politician from the state of New York. He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 2001 to 2010. From 1992–1997, he served as New York City Council Member representing East Harlem and parts of the Upper West Side and the South Bronx. Beginning in 2001, Powell represented the 68th Assembly District, which includes parts of Harlem and East Harlem.[2] He was defeated by Charles Rangel in the 2010 Democratic Primary for the seat of the 15th Congressional District.[3]

Early years[edit]

Powell was born to Civil Rights leader and former congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and his third wife Yvette Diago in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[1] He was named Adam Clayton Powell Diago, as is the Spanish naming custom of using the mother's surname as part of his official name.[1] Powell's maternal grandfather Gonzalo Diago was a mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico and served as such from 1941 to 1945.[4] When his parents separated, Powell's mother was granted custody, and he was raised and educated in Puerto Rico.

In 1980, Powell moved to the mainland United States to study at Howard University in Washington, D.C.. He changed his surname by dropping his mother's surname "Diago". He then continued to use the name Adam Clayton Powell IV. This has caused confusion as his half-nephew, 8 years younger than he, was also named Adam Clayton Powell IV. He later earned a law degree from Fordham University in New York.[5]

Political career[edit]

Powell ran successfully for the New York City Council in 1991.[6] In 1994, Powell challenged Representative Charles B. Rangel for his seat in the United States House of Representatives, but lost.[2] In 1997, he ran for Manhattan borough president, but lost to C. Virginia Fields.[7]

Powell worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).[when?] In 2001, he participated and was arrested in the Vieques protests, which demanded the departure of the U.S. Navy from that island.

After his election to the state legislature, Powell was credited with passing the law known as SCRIE (Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption), which exempts seniors from paying any rent increases.[8]

With Rangel's retirement in 2016, Powell is running again for the House seat.[9]

Family life[edit]

Powell married Andrea Dial, a former Ebony fashion fair model. They had a son, Adam Clayton Powell V, before divorcing in the mid-1990s.[5]



When Powell ran for Congress in 1994, he raised $64,000, 10% of which came from residents of his state,[10][11] while the remainder were donated by contributors from Miami and New Jersey, including $5000 from Free Cuba PAC, Inc.,[12][13] headed by leading Cuban-exile community figure Jorge Mas Canosa who made a $1000 personal donation to Powell.[14]

Campaign funds[edit]

Powell spent $1,200 of his campaign funds traveling to Ireland.[15][16] Powell said he accompanied several lawmakers on the Ireland trip, which was sponsored by the New York American-Irish Legislators Society as a means to raise awareness of the issues that affect the Irish community.[15][16]

Vehicular charges[edit]

In 2008, Powell was arrested and charged for allegedly driving while intoxicated (DWI) on the Henry Hudson Parkway in New York City.[17][18][19] He was acquitted of driving while intoxicated and found guilty of the lesser charge of driving while impaired. This charge is considered a traffic violation rather than a criminal conviction. One juror commented, "the whole thing is we didn't think he was drunk."[20]

Congressional race, 2010[edit]

Powell lost to Charles Rangel in the 2010 primary for the 15th district.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c CITY ROOM; If Your Name Is Powell, Take a Number. Andy Newman. The New York Times. April 14, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Sabrina Tavernise, "No Charges for Legislator in Allegation of Sex Assault," New York Times, October 8, 2006, found at New York Times archives. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
  3. ^ Joel Siegel, "Rangel Defeats Powell in Harlem Grudge Match" September 14, 2010
  4. ^ Municipios – Acerca de San Juan
  5. ^ a b Ebony
  6. ^ Mckinley, James C. (October 28, 1991). "In Harlem Race, Big Name vs. Political Clan". New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ Charlie Rangel’s Old-New Challenger. Steve Kornacki. October 16, 2009. New York Observer.
  8. ^ "New York State Assembly". New York State Assembly. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Adam Clayton Powell IV launches bid for NY-13 Congressional seat his dad once held". NY Daily News. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  10. ^ "The Prodigal Son Returns". The Village voice. August 22, 2000. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Charles B. Rangel, Congressman". Archived from the original on January 2, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Rangel, Powell spar – New York Amsterdam News". Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Article: `Harlem not for sale!' clergy urge Candidate Adam Clayton Powell IV – New York Amsterdam News | HighBeam Research". August 20, 1994. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  14. ^ Antonio de la Cova. "No Mas Canosa – the death of Cuban political figure Jorge Mas Canosa – Obituary". Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Gearty, Robert; Ross, Barbara; Lesser, Benjamin (September 6, 2009). "Too many loopholes: Campaign money goes for cars, spas & travel". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^ Mfuni, Tanangachi; Schapiro, Rich (March 8, 2008). "Harlem pol Adam Clayton Powell 4th busted for DUI". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  18. ^ Del, John (March 6, 2008). "Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell 4th Arrested for DUI". Gothamist. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  19. ^ Hartocollis, Anemona; Moynihan, Colin (March 7, 2008). "Assemblyman Faces a Charge of Drunken Driving". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  20. ^ Italiano, Laura (March 25, 2010). "Adam Clayton Powell IV acquitted of DWI charge, found guilty of driving while impaired". The New York Post. Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  21. ^ Kane, Paul (September 15, 2010). "Despite ethics cloud, Rangel easily wins primary". Washington Post. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Carolyn Maloney
New York City Council, 8th District
Succeeded by
Philip Reed
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Nelson Antonio Denis
New York State Assembly, 68th District
Succeeded by
Robert J. Rodriguez