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The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr.

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Information about The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr.

Profile image of The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr.

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Peanut Butter
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/24/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Peanut Butter
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/24/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

California politician and consultant, David Surmier Cunningham, Jr., was born June 24, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, to Eula Mae Lawson Cunningham and C.M.E. Rev. David S. Cunningham, Sr. At age eight, Cunningham accompanied his parents to Decatur, Illinois, where he attended E.A. Gastman Elementary School and enjoyed musical instruction at Millikin University. In 1952, Cunningham graduated from Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri, as a Danforth Award winner. Cunningham earned his A.A. degree in 1954 from Stowe Teachers College, while serving in the United States Naval Air Reserve. Joining the United States Air Force in 1954, Cunningham served as a cartographer, interacting with the U-2 until 1960. Cunningham attended the historic 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California, before enrolling at the University of California at Riverside. Cunningham graduated with a B.A. degree in economics and political science in 1962. In 1963, Cunningham, on a public affairs internship from the Coro Foundation, served as administrative aide to California assemblyman, Charles Warren. In 1973, Cunningham received his M.A. degree in urban studies from Occidental College.

In 1964, Cunningham, moved to Lagos, Nigeria where he became the West Africa regional manager for the DuKane Corporation. In 1967, Cunningham joined the Hughes Aircraft Company as manager of community relations; there, he co-managed the Hughes Active Citizenship Program. Cunningham then went on to found Cunningham, Short, Berryman & Associates in 1968, where he provided management consultation to government and small businesses.

In 1973, Cunningham took Mayor Tom Bradley’s place on the Los Angeles City Council, representing the Tenth District. As a councilman, Cunningham authored legislation creating the Mayor’s Office of Small Business Assistance. Cunningham also pioneered the use of government grants to restore public buildings; created a system of community senior citizens centers; and served as chairman of the Grants, Housing, and Community Development Committee. Cunningham served as state chairman of the California Delegation to the Democratic National Committee in 1976. In 1986, Cunningham joined Cranston/Prescott Investment Bankers as senior vice president of public finance. Cunningham served as senior vice president of Community Housing Equity Corporation from 1988 to 1991, while forming Dave Cunningham and Associates, a public affairs consultant firm. Cunningham serves on a number of boards and received both the Southern California Fair Housing and Alex Haley Heritage Awards in 1984.

Cunningham passed away on November 16, 2017 at age 82.

See how The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. recalls a childhood trip to Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his mother's move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his mother's personality and how he resembles her
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his father's ministry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers his grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers the sights and sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. recalls his childhood activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers his friendships in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. recalls segregated schools in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers seeing Jackie Robinson play in St. Louis
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers his sports heroes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his high school jobs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers playing basketball in college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes joining the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his time in college and in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers a U.S. Air Force mission in China
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. recalls discrimination in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers his time at the University of California, Riverside
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes working in politics in Riverside and Los Angeles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes working in West Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes living in West Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers living in Nigeria
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. recalls living in Liberia and Ghana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers Nigeria's 1966 coup
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describe his life in Lagos, Nigeria
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describe his political work with Hughes Aircraft Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers running for Los Angeles City Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his approach to political issues
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers working with Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M. Davis
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes Mayor Tom Bradley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. remembers working with Mayor Tom Bradley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. recalls his time on the Los Angeles City Council
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his consulting firm
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. describes his children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable David S. Cunningham, Jr. narrates his photographs