clear
Wednesday June 1st, 2016 4:00AM

Floyd Adams Jr., Savannah's 1st black mayor, dies

By The Associated Press
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) Floyd Adams Jr., who in 1995 became the first African-American elected to serve as mayor of Savannah, died Saturday. He was 68.

Adams died at the hospital, Candler Hospital spokesman Scott Larson confirmed. Larson said Adams' family had not authorized him to release any further details.

``Floyd Adams was a uniter,'' Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson said in a statement. ``He ignored racial, economic and social barriers during his decades of public service, and in doing so became the mayor of all Savannah.''

Adams was the publisher of the Savannah Herald, a weekly newspaper covering the city's black community. His father founded the paper in 1945.

Adams served on the City Council for more than 13 years before he ran for mayor in 1995. He defeated incumbent Mayor Susan Weiner by a scant 256 votes.

The victory made Adams the 63rd mayor of Georgia's oldest city, and the distinction of becoming the first African-American to hold the job made him uncomfortable.

``My race, or gender for that matter, has no bearing on how well I can lead Savannah,'' Adams said in his inaugural address in January 1996.

He took office at a time when Savannah was in the national spotlight like never before. Yachting events for the 1996 Olympics were held in the city. Tourists also flocked to Savannah to visit the area described in John Berendt's nonfiction best-seller ``Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,'' which had been published just two years prior.

Adams coasted unopposed to a second term in 1999, thanks in part to Hurricane Floyd. Though the powerful storm ultimately bypassed Savannah, its path forced the city to evacuate during the qualifying deadline for mayoral challengers.

Adams left the mayor's office at the end of 2003, but he tried to stay active in politics. After dropping out of a congressional race in 2002 and later losing campaigns for school board president and a mayoral comeback bid, Adams was elected to a seat on the Savannah-Chatham County school board in 2008.

``He was so much a part of Savannah,'' Van Johnson, a city councilman who knew Adams for decades, told The Savannah Morning News (http://bit.ly/1epaFvS ).
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 1 year ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 1 year ago )
Politics
Fire Tuesday night heavily damages Banks County home
A Banks County home was heavily damaged by fire Tuesday night.
2:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
AUDIO: UNG offers new summer food program for hungry kids
Pamela Elfenbein, a professor of human services and sociology with the University of North Georgia, joined the Afternoon News Wrap this week to discuss UNG's new summer food service program.
By Afternoon News Wrap
10:43PM ( 5 hours ago )
Pedestrian fatality temporarily shuts down stretch of I-85 in Jackson Co.
‚ÄčA pedestrian was pronounced dead in Jackson County Tuesday afternoon, possibly hit by a vehicle on Interstate 85 at the Dry Pond Road exit, emergency officials said.
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:02PM ( 8 hours ago )
Obama urges public to get ready for hurricane season
President Barack Obama is urging the public to prepare for the coming hurricane season and warning against what he says is a growing "complacency" when it comes to dangerous weather
6:07PM ( 9 hours ago )
Boater finds skull of missing Norcross woman in river
Police say the skull of a Norcross woman has been discovered in a river, about two months after she was reported missing
3:34PM ( 12 hours ago )