Marian Spencer Bio, Age, Family, Husband, Death, Cincinnati, Career

Marian Spencer Biography

Marian Spencer was a former Vice Mayor of the Cincinnati City Council in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the first African American woman to be elected to the Council.

Marian Spencer
Marian Spencer

Marian Spencer Age

Spencer was born on June 28, 1920, in the town of Gallipolis, Ohio. She was 99 years old at the time of her death on July 10, 2019.

Marian Spencer Family

Spencer originated from Gallipolis, Ohio, where she resided with her twin sister Mildred, two brothers named Harry and Vernon, and her parents in her grandfather’s house. Her grandfather, a former slave from West Virginia, relocated to Gallipolis and constructed the family home.

Marian Spencer Early Life and Education

At 13 years old, Spencer joined the NAACP. Following her graduation from Gallia Academy High School in 1938, Spencer, alongside her sister and fellow National Honor Society member, was named co-valedictorian. Upon completing high school, Spencer relocated to Cincinnati to attend the University of Cincinnati on a scholarship, alongside her sister and another scholarship recipient, Mildred Malcolm.

During her time at the university, Spencer advocated for the inclusion of all students in the college prom, marking the inception of her fight for equality for all residents of Greater Cincinnati. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Cincinnati in 1942.

Marian Spencer Husband

Spencer was wedded to Donald Andrew Spencer, Sr., who served as a teacher in Cincinnati and worked as a real estate broker. Their marital union commenced in 1940. During their marriage, they welcomed two sons, Donald Jr. and Edward Alexander. Their family expanded further with the addition of two grandsons, Matthew and Oliver, along with a granddaughter named Benita and a great-grandson named Emmanuel. Tragically, Donald Andrew Spencer, Sr., passed away on May 4, 2010.

Marian Spencer Career

Spencer dedicated her life to serving her community and advocating for civil rights, with a particular focus on desegregating public schools. Over seven decades, she actively participated in various roles within the NAACP, including serving on the Executive Board and chairing important committees such as Legal Redress and Education.

In 1981, Spencer made history by becoming the first female president of the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP, a position she held exclusively. Her leadership extended beyond the NAACP as she chaired significant committees like the Community Steering Committee for Indigent Defense and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Additionally, she broke barriers as the first African American woman elected president of the Woman’s City Club.

Her involvement in politics was notable, serving as Vice Mayor and as a member of the Charter Party for one term. She also represented her community as a delegate at the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, advocating for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign. Throughout her career, Spencer received numerous awards and honors for her tireless efforts and contributions to human service organizations and civic volunteer work.

Marian Spencer Cincinnati City Council

In 1983, Spencer made history as the first African American woman elected to the Cincinnati City Council. During her tenure, she also held the position of Vice Mayor and was a member of the Charter Party for one term. Additionally, Spencer served as a delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, where she ardently supported Jesse Jackson’s presidential bid.

In recognition of her significant contributions, in 2016, the Cincinnati City Council decided to rename a portion of Walnut Street, between Theodore Berry Way and Second Street at The Banks, as “Marian Spencer Way.” Furthermore, in 2018, the University of Cincinnati honored Spencer by naming a new residence hall on its main campus “Marian Spencer Hall.”

Marian Spencer Death

Spencer, a pioneering civil rights leader and politician in Cincinnati, Ohio, passed away on July 9, 2019, at the age of 99. In 1971, Spencer made history by becoming the first African American woman elected to the Cincinnati City Council. She served as vice mayor for two terms and continued to be a vocal advocate for her community until her death.

Marian Spencer Coney Island

In 1952, Marian Spencer took on a leadership role in the NAACP Legal Action against Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. The legal battle originated when her sons heard a radio advertisement encouraging children to visit Coney Island and meet a local TV personality.

Upon contacting Coney Island to inquire if the invitation included all children, Spencer was assured that it did. However, when she mentioned that her family was African American, the representative admitted that the invitation did not extend to African American children. Subsequently, she filed a lawsuit and successfully won the case, leading to the desegregation of Coney Island.