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 Gwen B. Giles

Gwen B. Giles

Birth
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Death 15 Mar 1986 (aged 53)
Saint Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Burial Unknown
Plot Unknown
Memorial ID 60898983 · View Source
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Civil rights activist and politician. During her distinguished career in politics served as Missouri's first African American female senator, representing the Fourth District, where she chaired the Interstate Cooperation Committee and was a member of several other legislative committees. She was also the first woman and the first African American to be appointed St. Louis city assessor, a position she held from 1981 until her death. She devoted her life to public service working steadfastly to secure civil rights and improve living conditions for the citizens of St. Louis. She came to St. Louis in 1935, later graduated from Saint Louis University. Beginning in the 1960s, she promoted involvement of St. Louis religious leaders in the civil rights movement. She was a member of the Archdiocesan Commission on Human Rights. In 1973, St. Louis Mayor John Poelker appointed her commissioner of human relations. In this position, she updated a city ordinance to protect women, the elderly and people with disabilities, and promoted passage of the 1976 Comprehensive Civil Rights Ordinance. Among her accomplishments was the appointment by President Jimmy Carter to a task force to assist in selecting talented women for positions in the federal government. She died in her St. Louis home in 1986 from lung cancer. A park and a U.S. Post office have been named after her to honor her achievements and involvement in the community.


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  • Created by: Curtis Jackson
  • Added: 30 Oct 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 60898983
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gwen B. Giles (14 May 1932–15 Mar 1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 60898983, ; Maintained by Curtis Jackson (contributor 46552524) Unknown.