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CARR, CHARLES VELMON

CARR, CHARLES VELMON

CARR, CHARLES VELMON (9 October 1903-30 Apr. 1987) influential Democratic member of Cleveland City Council and promoter of black civil rights, was born in Clarksville, Texas. His parents Will and Pauline Carr were educators who traveled, and he often lived with his grandfather who brought him to Cleveland briefly to attend East Technical High School. He graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., returning to Cleveland to attend John Marshall Law School. After passing the Ohio bar he practiced law, establising the firm of Carr, Jackson and Payne in 1954. In his early days as a lawyer, he was legal counsel to the FUTURE OUTLOOK LEAGUE and served as a member of their Board of Trustees.

Interested in politics, Carr ran unsuccessfully for Cleveland City Council in 1939, but succeeded WILLIAM O. WALKER as 17th ward councilman in 1945. The following year, he assisted in gaining council approval of a civil rights ordinance which revoked the license of any public business convicted of discrimination against blacks. He also fought for fair housing ordinances, and was co-sponsor of the first Fair Employment Practices legislation in the State. A master of political compromise, Carr was elected Democratic majority leader of city council in 1959, serving for 13 years. After losing his council seat to Lonnie Burten in 1975, Carr was appointed to the Regional Transit Authority's Board of Trustees in 1977 where he served until his death.

Carr died in Cleveland at age 83. He was survived by his wife, Hortense Leverett Carr, daughters Carole J. Bush, Cathleen V. Willis and Leah P.; son, Charles O. and stepson Michael K. King