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The Honorable George Forbes

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Information about The Honorable George Forbes

Profile image of The Honorable George Forbes

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Corn (Fried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Sarasota, Florida
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
4/4/1931
Birth Location:
Memphis, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Corn (Fried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Sarasota, Florida
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
4/4/1931
Birth Location:
Memphis
See how The Honorable George Forbes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Lawyer and city council member George L Forbes was born on April 4, 1931 in Memphis, Tennessee to Cleveland and Eleanor Forbes. He served a two-year tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school and then moved to the Cleveland area in the 1950s. Forbes received his B.A. degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio in 1957 and his J.D. degree from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1961. He was admitted to both the Ohio State Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association in 1962.

In 1963, he secured a seat on the Cleveland City Council where he served in various capiticies for the next twenty-seven years. He assisted Carl B. Stokes in his 1967 mayoral campaign, making Stokes the first black mayor of a major U.S. city, and helped to establish the 21st District Congressional Caucus which improve race relations within the Ohio Democratic Party. In 1971, Forbes became a founding partner of Rogers, Hornton & Forbes (now Forbes, Fields & Associates Co., L.P.A.) – the first African American law firm established in Cleveland, Ohio and the largest minority-owned law firm in the State of Ohio. In 1973, Forbes became the first African American to be elected as president of the Cleveland City Council where he served until 1989, and was instrumental in the merging of the city-owned Cleveland Transit System with the new Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in 1974. In 1992, Forbes was elected as president of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Forbes served in a number of civic organizations, including the Cleveland Chapter of The National Urban League, the Council of Economic Opportunity, the Businessmen’s Interracial Committee on Community Affairs, the John Harlan Law Club, and the National Association of Defense Lawyers for Criminal Cases. In 1990, Cleveland State University honored Forbes with the Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition, Forbes received Honorary Doctorate degrees from Central State University in 1989 and Baldwin-Wallace College in 1990. Forbes received the top honor bestowed by the NAACP, the Freedom Award, in 2009.

Forbes is married to Mary Fleming Forbes. They have three daughters, Lauren Forbes, Mildred Forbes and Helen Forbes Fields, and three grandchildren, William, Camille, and Brando

George L. Forbes was interviewed by on May 9, 2013.

See how The Honorable George Forbes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable George Forbes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his father's surname
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his father's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about political corruption in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his experiences as a migrant farmworker
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his home life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his early education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his teachers at Hyde Park Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes talk about his part time job at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls the educational opportunities for African Americans in Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his early interest in oratory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers Jackie Robinson's baseball games
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his teachers' encouragement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his decision to become a lawyer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls being accused by a white woman in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers police brutality in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his training in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes talk about his U.S. military service
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his mentor, Themistocles Rodis
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his teaching career at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his political affiliations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable George Forbes describes the start of his interest in politics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls the decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about Reverend James Lawson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his work experiences during law school
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers the Cleveland Marshall Law School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls Dean Wilson Gesner Stapleton of the Cleveland Marshall Law School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers representing Lewis Robinson and the Freedom Fighters
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about the CORE activists in Cleveland, Ohio