Black History—Freeman Bosley Jr.

Mayor and lawyer Hon. Freeman Robertson Bosley, Jr., the first African American mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, was born on July 20, 1954 in St. Louis to Marjorie Ellen and Freeman Bosleyu, Sr. Public service was instilled in Bosley by his father, a prominent citizen of “the Ville” in North St. Louis. Bosley, Sr. was elected city alderman in 1977 and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 1985. Bosley attended Farragut Elementary School and was a student activist at the predominantly white Central High School, graduating in 1972. He enrolled at Saint Louis University, where he received B.A. degrees in urban affairs and in political science in 1976. During college, Bosley was mentored by Ernest Calloway, a civil rights activist and professor at Saint Louis University. Bosley went on to attend the Saint Louis University School of Law, earning his J.D. degree in 1979. While at Saint Louis University, Bosley was elected president of the Black Student Alliance and the Black-American Law Students Association.After law school, Bosley worked as a staff attorney for the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, specializing in consumer affairs and utility companies. He was later employed by the law offices of Bussey & Jordan.

Inspired in law school by U.S. District Court Judge Clyde Cahill, Bosley helped in the political campaigns of Charles Quincy Troupe and Charles Bussey. In 1982, Bosley became the first African American Circuit Clerk of Courts for the 22nd Judicial Circuit, a position he held for ten years. During this time, he also served as the 3rd Ward Democratic Committeeman before being elected the St. Louis Democratic Party Chair in 1990. Bosley’s political leadership set the stage for his successful mayoral run, winning the April 6, 1993 election with 66.5% of the vote…

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