First Black Mayor of Grand Rapids, Mich. Dies

First Black Mayor of Grand Rapids, Mich. Dies

Published November 5, 2009

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Rev. Lyman S. Parks, a minister who was the first and only black mayor of Grand Rapids, Mich., has died at age 92.

Grand Rapids City Clerk Lauri Parks tells The Grand Rapids Press that her grandfather died Wednesday morning following a stroke over the weekend.
WXMI-TV reports that Lyman Parks and his wife, Cleo, lived at an independent living facility in Lisle, Ill., for the past year.

He became Grand Rapids' first black city commissioner in 1968.

WZZM-TV says the City Commission appointed Parks mayor after Robert Boelens resigned from the position in 1971. Two years later, Parks beat 10 opponents to be elected mayor of Michigan's second-largest city.

He ran again in 1976 but lost.

WOOD-TV says his body will be returned to Grand Rapids.

Written by Associated Press


Latest in news