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“G is for Gantt, Harvey (b. 1943)

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“G is for Gantt, Harvey (b. 1943). First African American student at Clemson, architect, politician. A native Charlestonian, Gantt graduated from all-black Burke High School where he played football and sang in the school choir. Inspired by his father, he developed a reputation as a leader in the NAACP’s local youth chapter. Barred by race from admission to white-only South Carolina colleges, Gantt attended Iowa State University with the aid of a state stipend, but sued for admission to the architecture program at Clemson. In January 1963, he was admitted and graduated in in 1965. After further study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he established a successful architectural practice in Charlotte. A Democrat, Harvey Gantt served on the Charlotte City Council (1975-1979), two terms as mayor pro tem (1981-1983), and two terms as mayor (1983-1987).