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Sun, 11.24.1935

Ron Dellums, Oakland Politician born

Ronald Dellums

Ron Dellums, a Black politician, administrator, and activist, was born on this date in 1935.

Ronald Vernie Dellums was born in Oakland, CA. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1954 to 1956. He received his A.A. from Oakland City College in 1958 and his B.A. from San Francisco State University in 1960.  After graduation, he became a psychiatric social worker and political activist in the Black community and received his M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1962. He also taught at San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1967, he was elected to the Berkeley City Council until 1970, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He served as chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia and the House Armed Services Committee.  Dellums was the nephew of Union activist C. L. Dellums.  He was a proponent of reducing military spending and advocated peace and social justice during his time in Congress.

His fight against apartheid in South Africa was the subject of a Disney Channel made-for-TV movie, "The Color of Friendship," released in 2000. He retired from Congress in 1999 to focus on his personal life and continued to be an activist in the peace movement.  He was also the mayor of Oakland, CA.  Ron Dellums died of complications from prostate cancer on July 30, 2018, at age 82.

To Become a Political Scientist


Black Americans In Congress 1870-1989.
Bruce A. Ragsdale & Joel D. Treese
U.S. Government Printing Office
Raymond W. Smock, historian and director 1990

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