April 29, 1922 – May 28, 2007 Parren MitchellDemocrat Parren Mitchell, the first African American elected to congress from Maryland, died on May 28, 2007 in Towson, Maryland.
After earning a degree from Morgan State University, Mitchell sued the University of Maryland for admission to graduate school and became the first African American graduate student, receiving a M.A. in 1952. He was elected to congress in November of 1970 and served eight terms from 1971 to 1987. Mitchell was very active in the Congressional Black Caucus and was one of it’s 13 founding members. He chaired the CBC from 1977-1979. Mitchell worked extensively in congress for minority small businesses and affirmative action. He was the brother of Clarence Mitchell who was the NAACP’s chief lobbyist for decades and an adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson.