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The Honorable Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.

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Information about The Honorable Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.

Profile image of The Honorable Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
If It's Been Done Before, I Can Do It.

Birthplace

Born:
8/19/1938
Birth Location:
Seaboard, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
If It's Been Done Before, I Can Do It.

Birthplace

Born:
8/19/1938
Birth Location:
Seaboard
See how The Honorable Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The son of sharecroppers, W. Wilson Goode rose from a life of abject poverty to become the first black mayor of Philadelphia. Born near Seaboard, North Carolina, in 1938, Goode's family migrated north following the war to Philadelphia. After graduating from John Bartman High School, Goode became the first member of his family to attend college when he enrolled in Morgan State University. He received his B.A. in political science in 1961. In the early 1960s, he worked as a probation officer, insurance claims adjustor and building maintenance firm supervisor before serving a tour of duty in the U.S. Army in 1962. In 1968, he earned a master's degree in governmental administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

Goode's political career took shape in 1969 when he was appointed executive director of the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement. The council's mission was to revitalize neighborhoods and create affordable housing for the poorer citizens of Philadelphia. It was a position Goode took to immediately and one that earned him a great deal of notoriety. During his tenure, he organized outreach programs in education, employment and economic development. In 1979, the mayor of Philadelphia appointed Goode as head of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission. While chairman of the commission, he had the unenviable task of investigating the accident at Three Mile Island. In 1980, he became the first African American appointed to the position of managing director of Philadelphia. His hands-on approach to city problems, such as sanitation and urban decay, further increased his popularity. Goode was elected mayor of Philadelphia in 1983. His support reached across racial and economic lines and he served two terms as mayor, leaving office in 1992.

Goode remains a pillar of the Philadelphia community. He received his doctorate of ministry in May 2000. He is the senior adviser on faith-based initiatives and serves as chairman of the Free Library of Philadelphia. He and his wife, Velma, reside in Philadelphia.

See how The Honorable Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of W. Wilson Goode's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - W. Wilson Goode lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - W. Wilson Goode describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - W. Wilson Goode describes his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - W. Wilson Goode remembers his childhood in the South during the 1940s
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - W. Wilson Goode describes the type of house he had as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - W. Wilson Goode talks about growing up on a farm
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - W. Wilson Goode describes his desire for education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - W. Wilson Goode remembers attending a one-room schoolhouse
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - W. Wilson Goode talks about not having access to books
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - W. Wilson Goode describes growing up in rural North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - W. Wilson Goode describes his drive to achieve
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - W. Wilson Goode's talks about his father's alcoholism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his relationship with his cousin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - W. Wilson Goode recalls moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his high school guidance counselor's bad advice
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - W. Wilson Goode describes telling his guidance counselor that she was wrong
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - W. Wilson Goode describes his neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - W. Wilson Goode describes the importance of his church community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - W. Wilson Goode describes attending Morgan State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - W. Wilson Goode describes Baltimore, Maryland in 1957
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - W. Wilson Goode talks about fighting against segregation in Baltimore, Maryland in 1957
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - W. Wilson Goode talks about serving in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - W. Wilson Goode describes jobs he held during his early career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - W. Wilson Goode talks about working on The Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - W. Wilson Goode talks about becoming the Chairman of the Public Utility Commission for Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - W. Wilson Goode describes handling the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his rapid career ascent
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his accomplishments as managing director of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - W. Wilson Goode describes speculation of his mayoral run
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his involvement in various Philadelphia political campaigns
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - W. Wilson Goode talks about being part of the third wave of black mayors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - W. Wilson Goode talks about the racial composition of voters
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - W. Wilson Goode talks about the support from black churches during his mayoral election campaigns
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - W. Wilson Goode describes the public's reaction to electing the first African American mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - W. Wilson Goode talks about the role of race in his election as mayor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - W. Wilson Goode talks about running against Frank Rizzo in 1983
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - W. Wilson Goode describes his accomplishments as mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - W. Wilson Goode shares the highlight of his tenure Mayor of Philadelphia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - W. Wilson Goode talks about his regret over the MOVE incident
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - W. Wilson Goode describes events leading up to the MOVE bombing in 1985
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - W. Wilson Goode talks about the MOVE bombing in 1985
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - W. Wilson Goode talks about mentoring children of incarcerated parents
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - W. Wilson Goode reflects upon his legacy