Lucien Blackwell

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Lucien Blackwell
Lucien Blackwell.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd district
In office
November 5, 1991 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byWilliam Gray
Succeeded byChaka Fattah
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 188th district
In office
January 2, 1973 – November 30, 1976
Preceded byJames O'Donnell
Succeeded byAlija Dumas
Member of the Philadelphia City Council from the 3rd District
In office
January 7, 1974 – February 7, 1991
Preceded byCharles L. Durham
Succeeded byJannie Blackwell
Personal details
Born
Lucien Edward Blackwell

August 1, 1931
Whitsett, Pennsylvania
DiedJanuary 24, 2003(2003-01-24) (aged 71)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jannie Blackwell
ChildrenThomas W. Blackwell

Lucien Edward Blackwell (August 1, 1931 – January 24, 2003) was an American politician. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1973 to 1975, Philadelphia City Council from 1975 to 1991 and the United States House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life[edit]

Blackwell was born in Whitsett, Fayette County, Pennsylvania on August 1, 1931. After attending West Philadelphia High School, he took a job as a dockworker and briefly pursued a career as a boxer. In 1953, he was drafted into the United States Army and served in the Korean War. Blackwell was a boxing champion during his years in the Army. After his service ended, he returned to the docks as a longshoreman.[1] In 1973, he became the president of the International Longshoremen's Association, Local 1332.

Pennsylvania politics[edit]

Blackwell's professional political career began with election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where he served from 1973 to 1975.

Philadelphia City Council[edit]

"Lucien the Solution" was best known as a vibrant member of the Philadelphia City Council from 1975 to 1991.[2][3] While serving on the Council, Blackwell served several terms as Chairman of the Finance Committee, where he led the charge to divest pension funds from businesses doing business in South Africa. Blackwell also sponsored the Philadelphia's first law to create opportunities for minorities and women to compete to obtain city contracts. Blackwell was also heavily involved in legislation to create the Pennsylvania Convention Center and in passing the law that broke Philadelphia's long-standing building height limit, allowing for the construction of Philadelphia's One Liberty Place. Blackwell was perhaps best known for his fiery oratory on the Council floor and for serving as a mentor to the former Philadelphia Mayor (and Council President) John Street. During his City Council tenure, Blackwell was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Philadelphia in both 1979 and 1991.

United States House of Representatives[edit]

Blackwell was elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Second Congress by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Representative Bill Gray, and reelected to the succeeding Congress. In Congress, Blackwell was a member of the United States House Committee on the Budget and a reliable advocate for President Bill Clinton's economic policies. Blackwell was ultimately an unsuccessful candidate for renomination to the One Hundred Fourth Congress in 1994, losing the primary to Chaka Fattah, and served as lobbyist following his tenure in Congress.

On January 24, 2003, Blackwell died at the age of 71.[3] A mural reading "Thank you, Mr. Blackwell", can be seen at 42nd Street and Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia. Blackwell's widow, Jannie Blackwell, is a member of the Philadelphia City Council, also representing the Third District, and his son, Thomas, was a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Blackwell, Lucien Edward". US House of Representatives. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  2. ^ "Blackwell, Burrell Jockeying For Endorsement". The Philadelphia Inquirer. February 1, 1991. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Twyman, Anthony S., Fleming, Leonard M., and Fitzgerald, Thomas (January 25, 2003). "Lucien Blackwell, fighter for the working class, dies". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on January 29, 2003. Retrieved June 25, 2017.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Gray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

1991–1995
Succeeded by
Chaka Fattah
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by
James O'Donnell
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 188th District
1973–1976
Succeeded by
Alija Dumas
Philadelphia City Council
Preceded by
Charles L. Durham
Member of the Philadelphia City Council for the 3rd District
1974–1991
Succeeded by
Jannie Blackwell