Rev. Al Sharpton 

Reverend Dr. Al Sharpton, Democrat, of Brooklyn, New York.
Current Founder and President of the National Action Network, "a civil rights organization whose mission is to be the voice of empowerment for the disenfranchised throughout America."
Career Finished second in the Sept. 9, 1997 New York City Democratic mayoral primary, gaining 32 percent of the vote and nearly forcing Ruth Messinger (40 percent) into a run-off.
In the Sept. 13, 1994 Democratic U.S. Senate primary gained more than 176,000 votes, or 26 percent of the vote, against incumbent Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
In the Sept. 15, 1992 Democratic U.S. Senate primary finished third with more than 161,000 votes or 14.5 percent of the vote. [E.Abrams 36.9%, G.Ferraro 35.9%, A. Sharpton 14.5%, L.Holtzman 12.7%].
Formed the National Action Network in 1991.
Survived an assassination attempt on Jan. 12, 1991; he was stabbed while organizing a demonstration in Bensonhurst.
Came to national prominence leading demonstrations on high profile racial cases, most notably and controversially as an advisor to Tawana Brawley:
- Dec. 22, 1984...Bernhard Goetz shot four teenagers on a subway.
- Dec. 20, 1986...a group of white youths wielding baseball bats chased three black men in Howard Beach, Queens.  One of the black men, Michael Griffith, 23, ran onto the parkway and was killed.
- Nov. 28, 1987...Tawana Brawley, a 15-year old black girl living in Wappinger Falls, New York (Dutchess County), was discovered in a plastic garbage bag with racial epithets written on her; she claimed to have been raped.  Sharpton and two other men signed on as advisors to Brawley.  The case was thrown out of court in 1988.  Ten years later, a jury found Sharpton and the other two advisors liable for defamation. >
- Aug. 23, 1989...Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year old black youth, was killed by a mob of white youths when he and three friends went to look at a used car in Bensonhurst.
- Aug. 19, Crown Heights, 7-year old Gavin Cato was killed in an accident by a car driven by Yosef Lifsh, a Hasidic Jew, prompting unrest between blacks and Jews.
- Aug. 9, 1997...30 year-old Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, arrested during a fight, was tortured and brutalized by officers at 70th Precinct station house in Brooklyn.
- Feb. 4, 1999...Amadou Diallo >, an 22-year old unarmed Guinean immigrant, was killed in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment in a hail of 41 bullets fired by four New York City police officers. >
Ran for New York State Senate in 1978. 
Touring manager for soul singer James Brown.
Founded the National Youth Movement in 1971--took on such causes as Kwanza, the police shooting of 14-year old black youth (demonstration Sept. 1974), and summer jobs for young people (arrested in April 1978 in New York City Hall).
Named youth director for Operation Breadbasket by Jesse Jackson in 1969.
Licensed and ordained by Bishop F.D. Washington in 1964 (at age ten) and appointed Junior Pastor of the Washington Temple congregation.
Preached his first sermon at the Washington Temple Church in Brooklyn at age four.
Education Tilden High School.  Two years at Brooklyn College (left in 1975).
Family Married to singer Kathy Jordan in 1983.  Two daughters, Dominique and Ashley.
Religion Pentecostal.
Age Born 1954 in Brooklyn, New York.  Sharpton's father left his mother when he was age 9.

by Al Sharpton and Karen Hunter
Al on America, Kensington Books, Oct. 2002.

by Al Sharpton and Anthony Walton
Go and Tell Pharoah: The Autobiography of the Reverend Al Sharpton, Doubleday, 1996.

Jack Newfield.  "Rev Vs. Rev."  New York Magazine, Jan. 7, 2002. >
Adam Nagourney.  "The Post-Sharpton Sharpton."  New York Times, March 18, 2001.

Copyright © 2002  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.