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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GEORGE, CLAYBORNE - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GEORGE, CLAYBORNE (26 Mar. 1888-24 Dec. 1970), councilman and Civil Service Commission member, was born in Surry, Va., to Bolling T. and Cornelia Brown George. He received his bachelor's degree from Howard in 1915 and graduated from that law school in 1917. George served in France as a 1st lieutenant in WORLD WAR I. In 1920 he received his master's in law from Boston University, was admitted to the Ohio bar that year, and began practice in Cleveland. He became active in politics and the local NAACP, serving as president from 1924-26. He ran unsuccessfully for city council in 1925, then established the East End Political Club as a political base, becoming an advocate of independent politics for the black community. George successfully ran for city council in 1927, 1929, and 1931; with LAWRENCE O. PAYNE† and LEROY N. BUNDY† he constituted the "black triumvirate" on council, using political disputes and power struggles to make gains for the black community. George became a Republican ward leader in 1930. In Aug. 1933, he resigned from council to run for municipal court judge, losing; but in 1934 Mayor HARRY L. DAVIS† appointed him to the Civil Service Commission where he served until 1969. In Jan. 1970 he retired from law practice. He was a founder of the John M. Harlan Law Club, first chairman of the Negro College Fund in Cleveland, and 3-term president of the Central Areas Community Council. George and his first wife, Enola, had a daughter, Hossie Gilchrist. Enola George died in 1941. He married ZELMA WATSON GEORGE† in 1944.

Obsequies in Memory of Clayborne George, March 26, 1888-December 24, 1970 (1970).

Last Modified: 16 Jul 1997 11:46:39 AM

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