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Byron Brown made history twice, most notably in 2005 when he was sworn in as the mayor of Buffalo, N.Y. The Hollis, Queens native was born September 24, 1958.

Byron William Brown II attended Buffalo State College, graduating in 1983 with a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism. He worked in a variety of positions after completing a certificate program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 1996, Brown’s political career began after serving on the Buffalo Common Council, a position he held until 2001.

From there, Brown began serving in the New York State Senate, presiding over two districts until being elected mayor of Buffalo in 2005 and taking office in 2006.

When Brown won his Senate seat, he became the first Black New York state senator to represent a district outside of New York City and the first member of a minority race to represent a majority white state senate district. In addition, Mayor Brown was also the chair of the New York Democratic Party between 2016 and 2019.

Mayor Brown was elected to his current fourth term in November 2017. He has been largely credited with bringing new business development to the city, along with focusing on crime reduction and diversity in a city with a sizable Black population. Mayor Brown’s current term ends in 2021.

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