J. Wyeth Chandler
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J. Wyeth Chandler (ca. 1930 – November 11, 2004) served as mayor of Memphis, Tennessee from 1972 to 1982. He was the adopted son of former Memphis mayor and U.S. Representative Walter Chandler. Chandler succeeded the controversial Henry Loeb, who battled local sanitation workers during a strike that brought Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis in April 1968.
This violence-ridden episode in the city's history resulted in King's death by assassin James Earl Ray on April 4. Chandler spent much of his tenure dealing with the economic and social fallout from the strike and the killing, as the incidents gave the city a bad name among business and charitable interests for some years.
Chandler was mayor at the time of Elvis Presley's death in 1977, and during the police and firemen's strike the following year. Some Memphians criticized his administration as too "status quo", but he was undeniably popular, winning three consecutive elections.
After resigning from office to accept a judgeship appointment from the Governor of Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, Chandler was succeeded by two interim mayors: first by J.O. Patterson, Jr. (the first-ever African-American to serve in the office), then by Wallace Madewell. The next regularly-elected mayor was Richard Hackett, who served from 1983-91.
|Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee
1972 - 1982
J.O. Patterson, Jr.
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