Past Mayors

Harvey B. Gantt (1983-1987)

Public Service:
Harvey Gantt was the first African-American elected to the office of Mayor in Charlotte.  In 1974 Gantt was chosen to fill the seat of Fred Alexander, the first black on the City Council, when he was elected to the N.C. Senate. Gantt was then elected to Council in 1975 for the 1976-77 term.  He was again re-elected At-Large for the 1977-79 term.  In 1981-83 he served as Mayor Pro Tem and served as Mayor from 1983-87.            Photo of Harvey B. GanttPersonal:
A native of Charleston, South Carolina Gantt became the first black to enter the previously all-white Clemson University in South Carolina. He graduated with honors in 1965.  Later he earned a master's in city planning at MIT and returned to Charlotte to establish Gantt Huberman Architects.  Gantt had two unsuccessful attempts to unseat U.S. Senator Jesse Helms.

During his Administration:

  • Charlotte/ Douglas International Airport completed the construction of their new 10,000 foot runway.
  • November 1, 1987 the daily afternoon paper, The Charlotte News, ceased publication.
  • On March 15, 1986 the Afro-American Cultural Center opened in the old Little Rock AME Zion Church on the edge of First Ward.
  • Shalom Park, a new Jewish Community Center was dedicated on May 18, 1986.
  • The location of the Charlotte Coliseum was decided. The facility was placed on City-owned land on an extension of Tyvola Road.