Cory Booker was elected mayor of Newark in 2006, after a second bitter campaign against the entrenched incumbent Sharp James. His win made him the third African-American to hold the position. He studied political science at Stanford University while playing tight end for the football team before moving into the dilapidated and crime-ridden Brick Towers housing projects in Newark. His advocacy on behalf of the residents led to a successful run for city council, making him the youngest to hold the office at 29.

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