OKLAHOMA CITY — E. Melvin Porter, Oklahoma’s first African American State Senator, passed away Tuesday at the age of 86.
Porter was born in Okmulgee in 1930.
He was a member of the first class at Vanderbilt University Law School to include African Americans.
In 1961, he became the president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
He was elected to the state Senate in 1964.
While in office, Porter introduced the Anti-Discrimination Act, the equivalent of the Civil Rights Act.
Porter held his seat in the Senate for 22 years.
“As a member of the Oklahoma Senate, E. Melvin Porter worked hard to make our state a better place for all our citizens. His election to the Senate in 1964 was a historic achievement for our state. The entire Senate honors his accomplishments and the positive impact he made on Oklahoma, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to Senator Porter’s friends and families during this difficult time.”—Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.
His services will be held at Temple & Sons funeral home.