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Otis S. Johnson, Ph.D., Mayor of the City of Savannah

Dr. Johnson is a 1960 graduate of Alfred E. Beach High School. He attended Savannah State University from 1962 to 1963. He transferred to Armstrong State College in June 1963 to become the first African American to attend and then graduate from Armstrong State College in 1964. He went on to the University of Georgia in Athens . He was the first African American from Savannah to earn an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in 1967. Dr. Johnson went on to earn the Master of Social Work degree from Atlanta University in 1969 and the Ph.D. degree in Social Welfare from Brandeis University in 1980.

Dr. Johnson has devoted his entire professional career to making conditions better for people in Savannah-Chatham County. He worked for the Economic Opportunity Authority and the Model Cities Program before he began teaching at Savannah State University in 1971. Dr. Johnson was elected to the Savannah City Council in 1982 and reelected in 1986. He resigned from the City Council and a tenured faculty position at Savannah State University in 1988 to become Executive Director of the Youth Futures Authority. The Youth Futures Authority is a collaborative of organizations that work with children and families that need help. He resigned from the YFA in 1998 and became Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Savannah State University and was elected, without opposition, to the Savannah-Chatham Board of Public Education. He retired in May 2002 from the position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Savannah State University.

The citizens of the city of Savannah elected Dr. Johnson to the position of Mayor on November 25, 2003. He took the oath of office on Saturday, January 3, 2004.

Click here for a PDF version of this Biography

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