Ex-Legislator And Rights Leader Dead
By JOHN W. SIMMS
Special to the Chronicle
Former State sen. E. Melvin Porter Sr., the firebrand civil rights leader, died on Tuesday.
He was 86..
Edward Melvin Porter was born on May 22, 1930, in Okmulgee to ictor and Mary Porter.
Victor Porter was Okmulgee’s First Black policeman.
At age 18, E. Melvin Porter enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Korean ‘Conflict.
He then went on attend Tennessee State University and served as president of the student government before graduating.
He graduated from the law school of Vanderbilt University, becoming the first Black to graduate from that institution.
After law school, Mr. Porter moved to Oklahoma City and soon joined the Civil Rights Movement here, and was proud of his having participated in the March on Washington, at which with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Mr. Porter served as president of the Oklahoma City branch of the NAAC in 1964, and won electiohn to the State Senate to represent District 48, becoming the first Black to serve in that legislative chamber.
He was defeated for reelection 1986.
While in the State Senate, he authored Oklahoma’s Anti-Discrimination Act. He was honored on the floor of the State Senate some time ago.
He was appointed to serve as Oklahoma County tax assessor in 1975.
He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
Both his marriages (to Jewel Porter and Leona Porter) ended in divorce.
Mr. Porter is survived by seven children, a sister, and a brother.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m.. on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 5700 N. Kelley Ave.
Former State Sen. E. Melvin Porter Sr. died on Tuesday. He was 86.
Former State Sen. E. Melvin Porter
The former legislator was honored on the floor of the State Senate some time ago.
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