Sharon Pratt Kelly

Sharon Pratt Kelly, Union Station, Washington D.C., Jan. 2, 1991.

— Photo by Ronald Baker, © 1993 Solid Image Photographic

Sharon Pratt Kelly was mayor of the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1995, the first female leader of the nation’s capital and the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major urban city. In the early 1970s, House Speaker Thomas O’Neill appointed her vice chairperson of the D.C. Law Revision Commission. In the mid-1970s, Kelly joined the General Counsel’s office of the Potomac Electric Power Company and in 1983 became the first African-American woman ever to become vice president of the company. Kelly was the Democratic National Committeewoman from the District of Columbia from 1977 to 1990. She was also elected to serve as the first African-American and the first woman treasurer of the Democratic National Committee from 1985 to 1989.

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