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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEMENT, KENNETH W. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEMENT, KENNETH W. (24 Feb. 1920-29 Nov. 1974), a physician and civic leader, born in Vashti, Pittsylvania County, Va., to Harry Leonard and Inez Mae Clement, was a leading advisor in the election of Cleveland's first black mayor, Carl B. Stokes. Clement came to Cleveland as a child. He graduated from CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL as class president and valedictorian (1938), from Oberlin College (1942), and from Howard Medical School (1945). After internship and residency, and service in the U.S. Air Force, Clement returned to Cleveland. He was assistant clinical professor of surgery at Western Reserve University, guest lecturer in intergroup relations in the School of Applied Social Work; and practiced at FOREST CITY HOSPITAL, MARYMOUNT HOSPITAL, SAINT LUKES MEDICAL CENTER, and Metropolitan General Hospital.

Clement served as the first black layman elected president of the CLEVELAND BAPTIST ASSN., as national director of the NAACP and Urban League, and as national president of the Natl. Medical Assoc., supporting civil rights and Medicare legislation. Pres. Kennedy appointed him the first black and first physician to the Natl. Social Security Advisory Council in 1963. Pres. Johnson appointed him to the Advisory Committee to the Disability Operation of Social Security, the Agency for Internatl. Development., the Presidential Appeals Board of the Natl. Selective Service System, and the Hospital Insurance Benefits Advisory Council, which helped draft the original Medicare regulations. Active in politics, Clement's guidance led Cleveland to become the first major American city to elect a black mayor.

Clement married Ruth Doss on 22 Aug. 1942. They had 4 children: Michael, Craig, Leslie Denise, and Lia Deborah. Clement died in Cleveland and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery.

Last Modified: 11 Jul 1997 02:13:23 PM

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