J. Raymond Jones

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J. Raymond Jones
Grand Sachem of Tammany Hall
In office
Personal details
Born(1899-11-19)November 19, 1899
St. Thomas, Danish West Indies
DiedJune 9, 1991(1991-06-09) (aged 91)
North General Hospital, New York

John Raymond Jones (November 19, 1899 – June 9, 1991) was an African American politician in New York City.[1]


He was born on November 19, 1899 in St. Thomas, Danish West Indies.[1]

He moved to New York City in 1917 and became involved with politics, serving as an election inspector in 1921. His focus was on registering and organizing African American voters in the Harlem area. In 1961 Jones supported the election of Robert F. Wagner Jr. as mayor of New York City, and in 1963 he became leader of the 21st Council District. Jones served as mentor to many younger black politicians who later became prominent in New York politics.[2] This group became known as the "Harlem Clubhouse". Known as "The Fox," Jones was leader of Harlem's Carver Democratic Club.[3] He challenged Tammany Hall leader Carmine DeSapio twice, succeeding in 1964 in becoming Tammany's first black leader (he was also its last leader before it quietly disbanded in 1967). New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins said about Jones, "Without his counsel and guidance, Percy Sutton, Constance Baker Motley, Fritz Alexander, Charlie Rangel, Robert Weaver, and I might add, David N. Dinkins, would not have achieved as much. He was a true political pioneer and a deeply committed individual who dedicated his life to serving the people of New York."[1] He was living at the Greater Harlem Nursing Home. He died on June 9, 1991, at the North General Hospital in Manhattan. He was 91 years old.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "J. Raymond Jones, Harlem Kingmaker, Dies at 91". New York Times. June 11, 1991. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
  2. ^ McInelly, Cade. "Jones, John Raymond (1899–1991)". Online Encyclopedia of Significant People and Places in African American History.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-04-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic

Further reading[edit]

  • John C. Walker,The Harlem Fox: J. Raymond Jones at Tammany 1920:1970, New York: State University New York Press, 1989.
  • David N. Dinkins, A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic, PublicAffairs Books, 2013
Preceded by
Herbert Evans
New York City Council, 21st District
Succeeded by
Daniel Diggs
Preceded by
Matthew Troy
New York City Council, 5th District
Succeeded by
Charles Taylor