09.22.20

Tacoma's First Black Mayor, Harold Moss, Dies at Age 90

Harold Moss, the first Black mayor of Tacoma who was known as a trailblazer and "champion for civil rights," has died at the age of 90.

Moss, who also became Tacoma’s first Black City Council member in 1970, was appointed as the city's first Black mayor in 1994 after the death of the previous mayor. He also was elected as the first Black Pierce County Council member in 1996.

Moss' death was confirmed by the current Tacoma mayor, Victoria Woodards.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, who represents the Tacoma area in Congress, called Moss' death "an enormous loss for our community."

Kilmer called Moss "a friend and a mentor" who he would miss dearly.

"My prayers are with his family and with everyone in our community who knew and loved Harold. May he Rest in Peace," Kilmer said.

Moss was born in Gilmer, Texas on Oct. 1, 1929, and his family later soon resettled in Detroit. Moss attended the Lewis College of Business before arriving in Tacoma during the Korean War as a member of the National Guard.

He became active in politics and was serving as deputy mayor of Tacoma in 1994 when then-mayor Jack Hyde suffered a fatal heart attack. Moss was appointed as the city's 34th mayor, but was prevented from running as an incumbent in the 1995 election due to term limits that included his time in service as a member of the City Council.

Moss was later elected to the Pierce County Council, where he served from 1997 to 2004, including a two-year period as council chair.


Source: KOMO News