John H. Reading
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John H. Reading (November 26, 1917 – February 7, 2003) was the 44th Mayor of Oakland, California from 1966 to 1977. Reading was born in Glendale, Arizona, then moved to Oakland where he attended Frick Junior High and Fremont High Schools while working as a newspaper boy. He graduated from the University of California in 1940, after having worked his way through college.
Life and career
During World War II Reading served in the Army Air Force as both a pilot and flight training officer, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel Reading. After the war Reading inherited his father's business, Ingram's Food Products, a successful company based in East Oakland, which was famous for frozen Red's Tamales. In 1968 Charlie Finley moved the Athletics baseball team from Kansas City to Oakland during Mayor Reading time in office. The Oakland Athletics won three World Series while Reading was mayor. He was instrumental in the building of the Oakland Coliseum and the expansion of the Oakland International Airport. Reading was a Republican in a city becoming increasingly Democratic.
Reading was elected three times; in 1967 to the position of mayor by appointment on an unexpired term, in 1969 for his first full four-year term. In 1973, Reading was forced into a run-off election by Bobby Seale, of the Black Panther Party, who won 40 percent of the vote in a losing effort.
Reading lived with his family in the Oak Knoll District of Oakland. Reading died in 2003 in Indian Wells, California.
John C. Houlihan
|Mayor of Oakland, California
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