Former Lt. Governor Of California Mervyn M. Dymally Dies At Age 86

Former Lt. Governor Of California Mervyn M. Dymally Dies At Age 86

Dymally, a former U.S Congressman, California State Lt. Governor, California Senator and Assemblyman, has died.

Dymally was a native of Trinidad, British West Indies, completed his high school education there; at 19 years of age, he came to the United States to study journalism at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Congressman Dymally earned a BA in education from California State University – Los Angeles, MA in Government, California State University – Sacramento, and a PhD. From the United States International University at San Diego (now Alliant International University).

He joined the Young Democrats and served as State Treasurer. In 1960, he was actively involved in the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles and served as a Field Coordinator for the John F. Kennedy Campaign for President. In 1962, he successfully ran for the California State Assembly, and in 1966, he became the first African-American to serve in the California State Senate; soon was elected Chairman of the Senate Majority Caucus.

In 1974, history was made when he was elected as the first of two African American Lieutenant Governors in the U.S. Dymally was also the first black foreign-born elected into the U.S Congress, where he represented the South Los Angeles County area.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Monday issued the following statement regarding the death of former lieutenant governor Mervyn Dymally:

“Mervyn Dymally was an extraordinary man who spent his life breaking new ground and advancing the cause of civil rights and equality. He was both a thinker and a doer, bearing deep knowledge but never hesitating to take action where action was warranted. California has lost an important leader.”

Dymally is survived by his wife Alice, a son and a daughter.