Robert Clayton Henry, the first African- American mayor of an Ohio city, was
born in Springfield, Ohio on July 16, 1921. He attended Springfield High
School and graduated in 1939. After high school, he attended Wittenberg
University and the Cleveland College of Mortuary Science. He also
received an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Central State
University. in 1961, Springfield citizens elected him to the City Commission,
where he served until being appointed mayor by his fellow commissioners
in 1966. Henry.was among the first African- American mayors of a U.S. city,
and is especially notable due to Springfield's majority white population.
at the time. After his tenure as mayor ended in 1968, Henry was chosen
by presidents Johnson and Nixon for fact-finding
missions in Vietnam. Robert C. Henry died on September 8, 1981.