LUCAS, CHARLES P. , SR. (18 April 1911-14 Sept. 1989) began his career as an educator, became a real estate broker, and served many years in a variety of public offices. But above all, he was dedicated advocate for civil rights.
Born in Cadiz, OH, Lucas earned a bachelor's degree from Wilberforce University in 1933 and a master's degree in education from the University of Kansas in 1936.
He then returned to his home town where he served as both a teacher and then as a principal. He married Hazel Jones in 1939, and they had one child, Charles P., Jr.
In 1945 Lucas came to Cleveland where he became the executive director of the local chapter of the NAACP (see NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE). He served that organization until 1952, more than doubling its membership, and helping organize protests against segregated facilities at EUCLID BEACH PARK.
In 1955 he became a member of the first State Board of Education. In 1956 he opened his own real estate office and was active in efforts to promote fair housing practices. From 1958 to 1968 he served two terms on the Cleveland Transit System board. A Republican, in November 1968, he was his party's candidate for the Congressional seat in the 21st District. He was defeated by Louis Stokes.
In 1971 he was appointed deputy director of the Cleveland office of the Federal Housing Administration, and director two years later. His tenure, however, was marred by federal charges that he had benefited personally in office, and he was forced to stand trial in 1978. Although the jury found him innocent, his career was nevertheless damaged. He returned to work for the Department of Housing and Urban Develoment as an office specialist, continuing until illness forced his retirement in 1989.
He is buried in Cleveland's Highland Park Cemetery.
View image at Cleveland Public Library.