Gibson is an American politician of the Democratic Party who was elected as the 34th Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, the state’s largest city. He was the first African American mayor of a major city in the Northeastern United States. He was in office from 1970 to 1986.
Allen was born on May 15, 1932, in Enterprise, Alabama. He attended school and graduated from high school in Enterprise in 1950. He later joined the United States Army as a civil engineer and served until 1958. Kenneth Allen was hired as a Highway Patrol trooper in New Jersey after his discharge. He attended Newark College while serving as a patrol trooper, and graduated with a B.S. in 1963. engineering in civil
Gibson joined the Newark Housing Authority after finishing his college studies, where he oversaw urban renewal projects between 1960 and 1966. By 1967, he was Newark’s chief structural engineer, as well as the head of the city’s Business and Industry Coordinating Council. He was also the vice president of the United Community Corporation, which was fighting poverty in Newark at the time.
Kenneth Gibson ran for Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 1970, and defeated incumbent Mayor Hugh J. Addonizio, who was later convicted of conspiracy and extortion charges. Mr. Allen took over a predominantly African-American city that was still reeling from the 1967 racial riots, which killed more than 23 people.
Mayor Gibson was credited with economic revival, which resurrected the city’s economy. For example, when he first took office, the city’s population had dropped from 400,000 to 300,000. However, by the end of his first term, the figures had gradually increased. Through urban housing developments such as Society Hill, Gibson encouraged the return of middle-class citizens who had fled the city. His administration was also initially associated with Baraka Amiri, a Black Nationalist poet and playwright who was credited with Gibson Allen’s first election to the mayor’s post.
Kenneth Allen Gibson was elected to four consecutive terms until 1986, when he was defeated by Sharpe James in the aftermath of a scandal that resulted in his indictment on conspiracy and misconduct charges. Gibson was acquitted in his subsequent trial, which took place after he stepped down as President. Gibson was active in several civil rights organizations, including the National Urban League, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Gibson was also the first black person to serve as President of the United States Conference of Mayors in 1976.