Tribune Content Agency Opinions

Gary's first black mayor helped launch a post-civil rights era

He was the last of the firsts.

That's probably how Richard Gordon Hatcher, one of the nation's first black elected big-city mayors, most often will be remembered.

Hatcher died Friday night at age 86 in Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago. He was elected mayor of Gary at age 34 on Nov. 7, 1967, the same day as Cleveland's Carl Stokes, who died in 1996.

Both made history as the first black men to

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