Mervyn Dymally was born in Trinidad in the West Indies and went on to come one of California’s most enduring politicians. In 1962, he became the first foreign-black person elected to the State Assembly. He served in the State Senate and became Lieutenant Governor, the first black to serve in a statewide elected office. From there, he went on to Congress, and then—at age 76—went back to the Assembly again, finally losing a State Senate election at the age of 82. Mervyn Dymally died Sunday at the age of 86
Mr. Dymally’s rise partly paralleled that of Tom Bradley, who became the first black mayor of Los Angeles. But Mr. Bradley built a coalition from a rising black economic class and liberal whites; Mr. Dymally, by contrast, galvanized poor and working-class residents and labor unions.
Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute, and radio host Earl Ofari Hutchinson talk with Warren about the trailblazing black California politician. “He served two roles, he was an important pivotal figure as a trail blazer and he was a great mentor too,” says Hutchinson.