Jim Usry

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Jim Usry
Personal information
Born (1922-02-22)February 22, 1922
Athens, Georgia
Died January 25, 2002(2002-01-25) (aged 79)
Absecon, New Jersey
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school Atlantic City (Atlantic City, New Jersey)
College Lincoln (PA) (1941–1942, 1945–1946)
Position Forward / Center
Career history
1946–1948 New York Rens
1949 Dayton Rens
1949–1950 New York Rens
1949–1951 Saratoga Harlem Yankees

James Leroy Usry (February 2, 1922 – January 25, 2002) was the first African-American Mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was also a professional basketball player.

Biography

He was born on February 2, 1922, in Athens, Georgia.[1] Usy graduated from Atlantic City High School and earned a bachelor's degree in 1946 from Lincoln University. From 1946 to 1951, he was a professional basketball player with the New York Renaissance and Dayton Rens.[2][3] In 1971, he earned a master's degree from Glassboro State College.[1]

A Republican, Usry served as mayor from 1984 to 1990, after defeating Mayor Michael J. Matthews in a recall election. From 1952 to 1984, Usry was an educator in the Atlantic City School District, where he served as assistant superintendent from 1977 to 1984.

On March 20, 1987, Usry was nominated by President Ronald Reagan for a two-year term on the National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement.[1]

On July 28, 1989, Usry was arrested with 13 other political leaders following an investigation into municipal corruption. He was charged with bribery, conspiracy, official misconduct and accepting unlawful gifts.[4]

In 1990, Usry was succeeded as mayor by Jim Whelan.[5] Supporters claimed the race had been rigged.[6]

All major charges against Usry were dropped when he pleaded guilty to improper reporting of campaign contributions and agreed to perform 60 hours of community service with the Salvation Army.[5]

He died on January 25, 2002, in Absecon, New Jersey.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Nomination of James L. Usry To Be a Member of the National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement"
  2. ^ NBA Vintage Stories - Remembering The Rens By John Hareas
  3. ^ 1948-49 Dayton Rens statistics Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Mayor Usry Returns to Work", The New York Times, August 1, 1989.
  5. ^ a b "Atlantic City's Ex-Mayor Pleads Guilty to a Campaign Violation" The New York Times, December 11, 1991.
  6. ^ Wayne King (9 June 1990). "Issue of Race Rules on test For Mayor". New York Times.
  7. ^ "James L. Usry, the first Black mayor of Atlantic City, Succumbs At 79"
Preceded by
Michael J. Matthews
Mayor of Atlantic City
1984–1990
Succeeded by
Jim Whelan
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