Oklahoma's First African American State Senator Dies - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

NEWS

Oklahoma's First African American State Senator Dies

Posted: Updated:
State Sen. E Melvin Porter honored in 2015 by the Oklahoma state Senate. State Sen. E Melvin Porter honored in 2015 by the Oklahoma state Senate.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma's first African American state senator died Tuesday. 

E. Melvin Porter was 86. His cause of death was not immediately known.

Porter was born in Okmulgee in 1930, and was a Civil Rights lawyer, politician and Oklahoma City NAACP president.

Porter served in the U.S. Army before attending Tennessee State University. In 1959, he graduated from the Vanderbilt School of Law. In 1960, Porter passed the Oklahoma Bar Association examination and established an office in Oklahoma City, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Porter was elected as the president of the Oklahoma City NAACP in 1961. During his tenure, Clara Luper and other NAACP staged sit-ins and boycotts to protest Oklahoma City's segregated accommodations. 

In 1962, Porter unsuccessfully campaigned for the Oklahoma House of Representatives as a Republican.

After legislative districts were redrawn, Porter won Senate seat District 48 as a Democrat in 1965. 

While in office, Porter introduced Oklahoma's Anti-Discrimination Act, the state's equivalent to the federal Civil Rights Act. He held his seat for 22 years. 

In 1993, Porter was appointed to Oklahoma County assessor. He left the position 18 months later amid controversy. 

The Oklahoma state Senate honored Porter in May 2015.

Services are pending with Temple & Sons funeral home.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.