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The Honorable Wellington Webb

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Information about The Honorable Wellington Webb

Profile image of The Honorable Wellington Webb

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1941
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1941
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how The Honorable Wellington Webb is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Wellington E. Webb, the first African American Mayor of Denver, was born on February 17, 1941, in Chicago. The Webb family relocated to the Northeast section of Denver, where the imposing six-foot, five-inch youth became active in sports. Webb was an all-conference basketball player at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, in 1960. He obtained his B.A. in sociology from Colorado State College at Greeley in 1964 and his M.A. in sociology from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley in 1971.

Webb was turned down twice for teaching positions in the Denver public schools. He was working as a forklift operator when he sought advice from his grandmother, Helen M. Gamble, who was active in the community affairs of northeast Denver. Following her advice, he went to city hall and was offered a job. She taught Webb about political involvement and political clout. Webb’s political career had begun.

In 1972, Webb was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, representing his boyhood home in northeast Denver. In 1977, Webb was selected by President Jimmy Carter to serve as regional director of the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare. In 1981, Colorado Governor Richard Lamm appointed Webb to his cabinet as executive director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies. Webb was elected Denver city auditor in 1987, where his track record paved the way for his successful and historic mayoral bid in 1991.

In his three terms as mayor of Denver, Webb has focused on four major areas: parks and open space, public safety, economic development and children. During his administration there was a record forty percent decrease in crime, as unemployment dipped below two percent. Webb’s development projects include the new Denver International Airport, a new sports stadium, expansion of the Denver Art Museum and a new African American research library.

Webb is president of the Democratic Mayors and the past president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National Conference of Black Mayors. He lectures frequently on civic issues and was a guest lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Webb collaborates closely with his wife, former Colorado State Representative Wilma J. Webb.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wellington Webb interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wellington Webb's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wellington Webb recalls his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wellington Webb recalls his father, continued
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wellington Webb remembers his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wellington Webb lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wellington Webb shares childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wellington Webb remembers his grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wellington Webb reveals his original family name
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wellington Webb shares childhood memories of Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wellington Webb recounts his high school years in Denver
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wellington Webb describes his educational struggles
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wellington Webb recalls college and his first marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wellington Webb recalls his early career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wellington Webb discusses his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wellington Webb details his early career struggles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wellington Webb remembers teaching black studies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wellington Webb recounts his entree into politics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wellington Webb discusses his grandmother's involvement in politics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wellington Webb recalls his work as a state congressman
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wellington Webb dicusses making himself accessible to the people
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wellington Webb recalls his strategies for getting bills passed
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wellington Webb recounts his work for the Carter Presidential campaign in 1976
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wellington Webb remembers his time with Health, Education and Welfare
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wellington Webb recollects his work in Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wellington Webb recalls his work with Dick Lamb
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wellington Webb's details his wife's success in creating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wellington Webb explains his discontent with administrative work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wellington Webb recalls his work as city auditor of Denver
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wellington Webb details how he decided to run for mayor of Denver
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wellington Webb recalls his mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wellington Webb discusses his campaign strategy with no financial support
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wellington Webb recounts winning his bid for mayor of Denver
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wellington Webb recalls winning his bid for mayor of Denver
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wellington Webb details his second mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wellington Webb recounts winning his second bid for mayor
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wellington Webb reflects on his success in politics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wellington Webb discusses some of the difficulties of his job
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wellington Webb considers his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wellington Webb shares his thoughts on respect
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wellington Webb recalls his problems with the Denver airport
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wellington Webb considers his future plans
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wellington Webb comments on the contemporary political environment
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wellington Webb explains his tennis shoes
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wellington Webb talks about campaigning
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Wellington Webb remembers his grandmother
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Wellington Webb reflects on his life and career