Bruce Bolling

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Portrait of Bruce Bolling, 1980s

Bruce C. Bolling (April 29, 1945 – September 11, 2012) was a politician and businessman in Boston, Massachusetts. He served as the first black president of the Boston City Council in the mid-1980s.


Bolling was educated at Boston English High School; Northeastern University; and Cambridge College. He is from "the city's most politically successful black family. His father, Royal Bolling Sr., was a state senator and his brother, Royal Jr., served as state representative."[1]

Around 1980 he worked "in the administration of Mayor Kevin White in a variety of capacities, including positions in the Office of Public Safety and as a manager of a Little City Hall."[2] Beginning in 1981 he served on the Boston City Council, acting as its president 1986-1987 -- "the first Black elected president of the Boston City Council."[3] He ran for mayor in 1993.[4]

From 2000 until his death he was director of MassAlliance, a firm specializing in small business development.[5][6]

Bolling died of cancer on September 11, 2012.[7] He was 67.


  1. ^ Bruce C. Bolling. Boston Globe, Aug 5, 1993. pg. 32.
  2. ^ Boston Globe, Aug 5, 1993. pg. 32.
  3. ^ Jet 84, no.12 (July 19, 1993): p.29.
  4. ^ Bruce Bolling. Boston Globe, Sep 19, 1993. pg. 7
  5. ^ Boston Globe, May 27, 2000. pg. A.15
  6. ^ Retrieved 2010-03-31
  7. ^ Bruce Bolling, first black president of Boston City Council, dies at 67. Boston Globe Online,

Further reading[edit]

Publications by Bolling[edit]

  • Plan to benefit South Boston betrays the idea of linkage. Boston Globe, May 27, 2000. p. A.15.
  • Fear, disrespect go together; Let's diminish both. Boston Globe, Jan 2, 1993. p. 11.
  • Op Ed: What I've learned from my experience. Boston Herald, Dec 30, 1992. p. 021.

Publications about Bolling[edit]

  • Margot Hornblower. "Boston's new Council president reflects shift in race relations; Bruce Bolling and family making mark on politics." Washington Post, 16 January 1986: A3.
  • Christopher J. Daly. "With the slamming of a taxi door, race issue reverberates in Boston." Washington Post, 25 December 1992. (Controversy over taxi driver refusing to drive black City Councilman Bruce Bolling home to Roxbury neighborhood).

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Joseph M. Tierney
President of the Boston City Council
Succeeded by
Christopher A. Iannella