Distinguished African American Political and Governmental Leaders

By James Haskins | Go to book overview

G

Kenneth Allen Gibson
Reproduced from AP/Wide World Photos

Born: May 15, 1932, in Enterprise, Alabama

Status: President, Gibson Associates, Newark, New Jersey

Education: B.S., 1962, Newark College of Engineering, Newark, New Jersey

Position: Sixty-fifth Engineering Battalion, U.S. Army, 1956-1958; manual laborer, 1958- 1960; engineer, Newark Housing Authority, Newark, New Jersey, 1960-1966; chief structural engineer, City of Newark, New Jersey, 1966-1970; mayor, Newark, New Jersey, 1970- 1986; delegate, Democratic National Midterm Conference, 1974, 1978; president, U.S. Conference of Mayors, 1976-1977; president, Gibson Associates, Newark, New Jersey, 1987-


Early Years

Kenneth Allen Gibson was born on May 15, 1932, in Enterprise, Alabama, the eldest of the two sons of Willie and Daisy Gibson. Willie Gibson worked as a butcher, and Daisy was a seamstress. Although the Depression had hit the South hard, the Gibsons were industrious and they hoped to save enough to buy their own home.

An event occurred, however, when Gibson was five years old that took a serious bite out of the Gibsons' savings. Gibson was playing with a balloon that had a cardboard whistle attached and accidentally swallowed the whistle. It became lodged in his right bronchial tube and local doctors were unable to remove it. Finally, withdrawing most of their savings from the bank, Kenneth's father, Willie, took him by train to a hospital in Newark, New Jersey, where doctors were finally able to remove the whistle by a suction process. A local resident later related to Daisy Gibson, "You know, that's two times Ken Gibson has put Enterprise on the

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Distinguished African American Political and Governmental Leaders
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface ix
  • Sources x
  • Profiles 1
  • A 3
  • B 10
  • C 35
  • D 58
  • E 76
  • F 89
  • G 99
  • H 109
  • J 126
  • K 142
  • L 145
  • N 185
  • O 190
  • P 194
  • R 207
  • S 222
  • T 236
  • W 244
  • Y 263
  • Appendix 1 279
  • Appendix 2 281
  • Appendix 3 285
  • Appendix 4 287
  • Index 291
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