Former OKC mayor, James Norick, dies at age 95

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Former Oklahoma City James Norick has passed away.

Norick was 95-years-old when he died, but he was able to pass his legacy on to his son, another former mayor, Ron Norick.

During his time as mayor, Norick helped transform the city's infrastructure.

James Norick served on the City Council in the 1950's and then got elected to be the city's mayor on two different occasions

As mayor, Norick worked to ensure a reliable water supply for the city, spearheading construction of the Atoka pipeline, which feeds Lake Stanley Draper.

"James Norick saw that future growth was going to depend on quality drinking water, and that to grow a city, you need to take care of your water needs, and he was ahead of the curve," said Mayor Mick Cornett.

The pipeline construction led to Norick losing re-election in 1963, though voters would change course and elect Norick to a second term as mayor in 1967.

Since then, the pipeline has been instrumental to the city's growth.

"Oklahoma City has seen the value of having that water supply. I know he was always very proud of that," said Ron Norick.

James Norick's name also still adorns the outside of the State Fairgrounds Arena, in part because as an avid sports fan, he proved instrumental in bringing professional hockey to the city.

"This is a legendary figure in Oklahoma City's history," said Cornett.

According to a press release from the city, Norick served as a councilman for Ward 1 from 1951 to 1955. During his time on council, he supported efforts to build Lake Atoka, which was completed in 1959.

Norick was elected mayor in 1959 and served until 1963. He was elected mayor again in 1967, serving until 1971.

While in office, Norick also aided in the City's annexation program, which grew the City from approximately 90 to 600 square miles, making it the world's largest land-area city for many years.

Norick was born January 23, 1920 in Oklahoma City and was the first Oklahoma City mayor born in the state. In 1910, Norick's father, along with his brother, Lon, established printing business, Norick Brothers, Inc.

In 1982, family donations, most notably by Norick's mother, contributed to the building of the Norick Art Center on Oklahoma City University's campus.

Norick married Madalynne King in 1940 and they raised two children, Ronald James and Vickie Lynne. Their son, Ronald, served as Oklahoma City mayor from 1987 to 1998. Norick was preceded in death by Madalynne, who died in 2009.

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