Adlene Harrison, First Woman to Serve as Dallas Mayor, Dies at 98

Rose Baca / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer

Adlene Harrison, the first woman to serve as Dallas mayor and a key figure in the formation of DART, died Saturday of natural causes in her North Dallas home, according to her family. She was 98.

According to a report by the Dallas Morning News, Harris was a staunch environmental, mass transit and reproductive-rights advocate with a penchant for not mincing words. She was elected three times to the Dallas City Council between 1973 and 1977.

She was the city’s mayor pro tem when she was appointed acting mayor in 1976 to complete the term of Wes Wise, who resigned to run for Congress. The appointment made her the first Jewish woman to serve as mayor of a major U.S. city.

She went on to be named a regional administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was the first-ever chair of the DART board. She also was on the boards of several local civic organizations, including the Dallas Jewish Coalition and the Dallas Arboretum.

Click here to read the full report on the Dallas Morning News website.

Contact Us