Doris Bunte

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Doris Bunte
Doris Bunte in 1973.jpg
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the 7th Suffolk district
In office
Preceded byFranklin W. Holgate
Succeeded byGloria Fox
Boston Housing Authority Administrator
In office
Preceded byHarry Spence
Succeeded byDavid Cortiella
Personal details
Born(1933-07-02)July 2, 1933
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedFebruary 15, 2021 (aged 87)
Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic

Doris Bunte (July 2, 1933 – February 15, 2021) was a Massachusetts state representative and an administrator of the Boston Housing Authority. She was the first African-American woman to hold either position.


She was born on July 2, 1933, in New York City and educated in the New York City public schools.[1]

She was a tenant activist at the Orchard Park housing project (now Orchard Gardens) in Roxbury.[2] She was a member of the National Rent Board, the Critical Minority Affairs Committee, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, the National Tenants Organization, and the Citizens Housing and Planning Association.[1]

In 1972, Bunte was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives (7th Suffolk District, Wards 8, 9 and 12), where she served for 12 years.[2] She was the first African-American woman elected to the Massachusetts state legislature.[3] In 1984, Mayor Raymond Flynn appointed her Administrator of the Boston Housing Authority, where she served until 1992.[2] She was the first African-American woman to hold that position in Boston, and the first former public housing tenant to lead a public housing agency in a major city.[3] During her career in Massachusetts politics she was known as a strong advocate for public housing.[2]

Afterwards she worked at the Boston University School of Public Health and the Center for Sport in Society at Northeastern University before retiring in 2010.[2]

She died on February 15, 2021 from cancer in her home in Brookline, Massachusetts.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Public officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1973-1974". Internet Archive.
  2. ^ a b c d e Walker, Adrian (June 6, 2011). "She's not the retiring type". The Boston Globe.
  3. ^ a b Vrabel, Jim (2004). When in Boston: A Time Line & Almanac. Northeastern University Press. pp. 341, 359. ISBN 9781555536213.
  4. ^ A groundbreaking Black woman in state and city government, Doris Bunte dies at 87

Further reading[edit]