Former Kalamazoo mayor Gilbert Bradley died Friday at the age of 77. Bradley was the first Black mayor of Kalamazoo.Bradley was born in Louisiana, but his family moved to Inkster, Michigan when he was three years old. Bradley earned Bachelors and Master Degrees in Education from Western Michigan University. He also studied at Howard University in Washington, DC, working towards a doctorate in Divinity.

Bradley was elected at age 29 to the Kalamazoo City Commission in 1969, and with the amount of votes became Vice-Mayor. In the 1971 election, he received the most votes out of 19 candidates and became the city's first Black mayor.

After Kalamazoo, Bradley worked in teaching and human services, and also became an ordained minister.

According to his obituary, Bradley is survived by his wife Mary, to whom he was married almost 50 years, two daughters and two grandchildren.

Services will be Saturday afternoon, June 2nd in Cassopolis, at Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals.



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