US Congressman. A member of the Democratic Party, he served California's 31st District in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 until 1993. Born in Cedros in the Southwestern region of Trinidad to parentage of diverse religious backgrounds (his father was Muslim, his mother was Roman Catholic), he later settled in Southern California where he attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1957 and pursued a career as a special education teacher in Los Angeles. Inspired by John F. Kennedy's campaign for the presidency, Dymally joined the Democratic Party and was elected to and served in the California State Legislature (1953 to 1966), thus becoming the first foreign-born black to serve in that body of government. He went onto served as both a state senator (1967 to 1975) and Lieutenant Governor of California from 1975 to 1979. During his tenure in Congress, he fought for better quality in education and health care. In addition, he chaired the Congressional Black Caucus and served on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Bio by: C.S.