Former Oakland Mayor Congressman Ronald V. Dellums dies at 82

Former Congressman Ronald V. Dellums speaks at ‘World AIDS Day’ press conference December 01, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Sebastian Artz/Getty Images)

Former Oakland Mayor Ronald V. Dellums, who served nearly three decades in the U.S. Congress, has died after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 82-years old.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) confirmed Dellums’ death Monday morning.

“It is with deep sadness that I can confirm the passing of a great warrior and statesman, Congressman Ron Dellums,” Lee said in a statement. “The contributions that Congressman Dellums made to our East Bay community, the nation and the world are too innumerable to count.”

As reported by the East Bay Times, Dellums’ political career began in the late 60’s as a member of the Berkeley City Council (1967-70). He also served in the House of Representatives from 1971-1998 from Northern California’s Ninth Congressional District. Dellums was reelected 11 times.

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His activism and political efforts led him to be named on President Richard Nixon’s “Enemies List” of major political opponents.

Dellums served as Oakland’s 48th mayor and third African American mayor from 2007-11. Crime and the homicide rate dropped significantly during his term. He also implemented The Oakland Partnership; “a public-private collaboration with government, business, education, labor and the community that devised a strategy to create 10,000 jobs,” reports The East Bay Times.

“Ron Dellums governed from a place of morality and compassion, and his political activism shed light on injustices within our country and all over the world,” current Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. “His progressive values set the bedrock for Oakland values, and his life of public service will continue to inspire all of us to fight for a more just and equitable society. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.”

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Details regarding his memorial service have yet to be released.

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