Evers, Charles

Evers, (James) Charles

(1922–  ) civil rights leader, mayor; born in Decatur, Miss. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, he took over his family's considerable business interests in Philadelphia, Miss. (mid-1950s) and then moved to Chicago (1957) where he was a successful nightclub owner, real estate agent, and disc jockey. He returned to Mississippi after the assassination of his brother Medgar Evers (1963) and assumed Medgar's post as field director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Mississippi. He was elected mayor of the town of Fayette, Miss. (1969)—the first black mayor elected in a racially mixed southern town since the Reconstruction—and published his autobiography (1971). He was reelected mayor (1973) after an unsuccessful attempt for the governorship on an independent ticket (1971). In 1978 he failed in his bid to become a U.S. senator.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.