This Day in Black History: Nov. 24, 1935

Former California Rep. Ronald Dellums was born in Oakland.

Posted: 11/24/2012 07:00 AM EST

Former Rep. Ronald Dellums of California was born in Oakland on Nov. 24, 1935. Dellums went on to serve two years in the U.S. Marine Corps and earned his master’s degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley in 1962. At that point, Dellums became deeply involved in community affairs and local politics in the San Francisco area, being elected to the Berkeley City Council in 1967.

The councilman became known as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, which some historians say helped fuel his election to congress in 1971. As state representative, Dellums rallied for economic sanctions against South Africa's apartheid regime, pushing through the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986. 

After 14 terms in office, Dellums resigned from the House in February 1998 and went on to work as a lobbyist in Washington. That year, Congress passed a bill to name a federal building in Dellums' honor in downtown Oakland. Returning to the political scene in 2006, he was elected mayor of Oakland at age 70, a position he held until 2011.



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(Photo: Jonathan Eubanks via UC Berkeley)

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