Bruce Bolling

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Bruce Bolling
1980s Bruce Bolling Boston USA 9501946767.jpg
Bolling in the 1980s
At-large member of the Boston City Council
In office
Member of the Boston City Council for District 7
In office
Preceded bydistrict created
Succeeded byAnthony Crayton
At-large member of the Boston City Council
In office
Sept. 1992 – 1993
Personal details
Born(1945-04-29)April 29, 1945
DiedSeptember 11, 2012(2012-09-11) (aged 67)
Boston, Massachusetts
Spouse(s)Joyce Ferriabough
Alma mater

Bruce Carlton 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.

Early years[edit]

Bolling was educated at Boston English High School, Northeastern University, and received a master's degree in education from Antioch University (now Cambridge College).[1] He was from "the city's most politically successful black family. His father, Royal L. Bolling, was a state senator and his brother, Royal L. Bolling Jr., served as state representative."[1]

Political career[edit]

Around 1980, Bolling 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."[1] In November 1981, he was elected to the Boston City Council, in the final election when all seats were at-large. He was subsequently re-elected to four two-year terms as the representative for District 7 (Roxbury). He was council president in 1986 and 1987 — "the first Black elected president of the Boston City Council."[2] He lost his position on the council following the November 1991 election, when he unsuccessfully sought an at-large seat.[3] He returned to the council in September 1992, following the death of at-large member Christopher A. Iannella, as Bolling had finished fifth in the election for four at-large seats.[4][5] Bolling ran for Mayor of Boston in 1993,[6] finishing fifth in the preliminary election.

Bolling (third from right) next to Mayor Raymond Flynn (center), with several Boston City Council members (ca.1984–1987)

Later years and legacy[edit]

From 2000 until his death, Bolling was director of MassAlliance, a firm specializing in small business development.[7] He died of prostate cancer on September 11, 2012.[8] He was 67.

In 2015, the Ferdinand Building in Dudley Square was renamed the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in his honor.[9][10] The dedication ceremony was attended by his brother, Royal L. Bolling, Jr., Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and other Massachusetts politicians.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "BRUCE C. BOLLING". The Boston Globe. August 5, 1993. p. 32. Retrieved February 25, 2018 – via
  2. ^ "Boston Council Member Bruce Bolling Magazine Candidacy In Mayoral Race". Jet. Vol. 84 no. 12. July 19, 1993. p. 29 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Flynn rolls to a record triumph O'Neil, Iannella, Salerno, Nucci take at-large council races". The Boston Globe. November 6, 1991. Retrieved February 24, 2018 – via
  4. ^ "Bolling to fill council vacancy". The Boston Globe. September 23, 1992. Retrieved February 24, 2018 – via
  5. ^ "Bolling is welcomed back to City Council". The Boston Globe. September 24, 1992. Retrieved February 24, 2018 – via
  6. ^ "BRUCE BOLLING". The Boston Globe. September 19, 1993. p. 7. Retrieved February 25, 2018 – via
  7. ^ "About MassAlliance". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-03-31 – via Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Ryan, Andrew (September 11, 2012). "Bruce Bolling, first black president of Boston City Council, dies at 67". The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ "Bruce C. Bolling Building Renaming Ceremony". April 7, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building". Retrieved February 25, 2018 – via Google Maps.
  11. ^ Crimaldi, Laura (April 7, 2015). "Roxbury building renamed in honor of Bruce Bolling, a pioneer". The Boston Globe.

Further reading[edit]

Publications by Bolling
Publications about Bolling

External links[edit]

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