Jan 15, 2016
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Judge George Carroll, who was Richmond’s first black lawyer, city councilmember and mayor, died in his sleep Thursday at age 94, according to Mayor Tom Butt.

Butt posted a tribute to the respected community leader on Facebook:

“The City of Richmond mourns the loss of Judge George Carroll, who passed away in his sleep last night. Judge Carroll was the first black lawyer in Richmond. In 1961 Carroll became the first African American elected to the city council (1961-1964) and later became the first black mayor of Richmond (1964-1965) or any large American city. Judge Carroll resigned to become the first black judge in Contra Costa when he was appointed to the Bay Municipal Court by Governor Edmund G. (“Pat”) Brown in 1965. The Richmond Courthouse and a park in the Pt. Richmond District are named in his honor. Judge Carroll built a legacy in Richmond and will be deeply missed by all. Rest in power.”

Richmond’s black community has been celebrating Carroll’s life on social media. Each year, the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC) honors local public servants with the Judge George D. Carroll Community Service Award. The most recent award ceremony occurred in May at Richmond Memorial Auditorium.

For more on Carroll’s legacy, visit a Contra Costa Times report here. The Brooklyn, NY-born Carroll also has a Wikipedia page to help preserve his legacy.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.