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Woodrow Wilson Goode Research Papers

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Woodrow Wilson Goode had a profound impact on the city of Philadelphia before, during, and after he won election as the city’s mayor. Goode set precedents both as Philadelphia’s first African American city manager and its first African American Mayor. Throughout his time in public office he devoted himself to solving the city’s problems as well as helping those he felt were in desperate need. Although his political life was marred by the MOVE incident and plagued by those who sought to end his career, Goode persevered and succeeded in ways many never expected.


  • Woodrow Wilson Goode was born on August 19, 1938Woodrow Wilson Goode
  • Goode grew up in Seaboard, North Carolina.
  • Goode's parents, Albert and Rozella were sharecroppers.
  • Goode’s childhood was one lived in poverty, with a religious mother and an alcoholic father.
  • Most of Goode's early education was obtained in several one-room schools.
  • When Goode was fifteen, his family moved to Philadelphia where his parents hoped to earn more money.

In Philadelphia, Goode attended John Bartram High School. After graduating he attended Morgan State University where he received a B.A. in 1961. Goode’s academic achievements included being an honor student in high school and the first member of his family to attend college. His education was bolstered several years later when he attended Wharton School in 1968 from which he earned a M.P.A.

While attending Morgan State University Goode enrolled in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. In 1961-1962 he served a tour of duty in the U.S. army. After leaving the army, Goode held several different types of jobs during his early career including that of a probation officer, an insurance claims adjuster, and a supervisor at a building maintenance firm.

Goode’s various awards testify to his belief in strong community involvement and his strong moral character. In 1963 he received a commendation medal for meritorious service from the U.S. Army. In 1972, the Jaycees named him Outstanding Young Leader of the Year. In addition, he received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities including the college of the Holy Cross, Wittenberg University, Morgan State University, Lincoln University, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and others as well.

Goode was very active in the public arena. He served as executive director of the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement beginning in 1969, a non-profit organization that helped neighborhood groups and promoted housing construction.

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