Born: August 10, 1931, in Hartford, Connecticut
Status: Resident of Hartford, Connecticut
Education: B.S., 1953, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; studied at Howard School of Law, Washington, D.C., 1953-1955
Position: Social worker, Hartford, Connecticut, 1950s; administrator, Community Renewal Team of Greater Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, 1960s; executive director, Amistad House, Hartford, Connecticut, 1970s; state representative, Connecticut State Legislature, 1980- 1987; mayor, Hartford, Connecticut, 1987- 1991
Carrie Saxon Perry was born on August 10, 1931, in Hartford, Connecticut, the only child of Mabel Lee Saxon. Despite the fact that Saxon and her mother lived in poverty, her mother and grandmother encouraged her to follow her dreams. Saxon attended public school in Hartford, graduating from high school in 1949 and enrolling at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Saxon studied political science at Howard University, then studied for two years at Howard's School of Law before returning to Hartford, Connecticut, where she obtained a job as a social worker. Soon after her return to Hartford, Perry met and married James Perry, Sr., whom she later divorced. The couple had one son, James Perry, Jr.
In addition to raising her son, Perry was busy building her career. She was appointed administrator for the Community Renewal Team of Greater Hartford and, soon after, became executive director of Amistad House. Her jobs, which concerned helping the poor, increasingly involved contacts with various politicians and political groups in Hartford. She saw that she would have to become directly involved in politics herself to help those in need, and in 1976 she made a bid for a seat in the Connecticut State Legislature.
The race was a tough one, and Perry had virtually no support. Her opponent pounded at her lack of experience, a charge Perry answered by saying,