Civil rights leader was a piece of Philadelphia history

    Philadelphia civil rights leader and political trailblazer, Charles Bowser, has died. Bowser served on the commission investigating the bombing of the MOVE house and ran for mayor, among other accomplishments.

    Attorney Charles Bowser was deputy mayor of Philadelphia from 1967 to 1969, he ran twice unsuccessfully for mayor of Philadelphia in the 70’s, and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell says he was a trailblazer for minorities in politics.

    “And those who stood for him knew that they were standing against the status quo,” she says.  “They were fighting the Democratic Party, they were making a statement.”

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Jerry Mondesire who heads up the NAACP in Philadelphia says Bowser also quietly mentored many, and helped others go to college, by providing scholarships.

    “He helped a lot of children go to school, and to stay in school,” Mondesire says. “He never looked for praise, he never looked for accolades, he just did it because he believed in it.”

    Bowser died at age 80, the cause of death has not been made public.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal