SAN FRANCISCO — Terry A. Francois, a civil rights lawyer who became the first black to sit on the city's Board of Supervisors, died Friday of cancer. He was 67. Francois, who died at his San Francisco home after a five-year battle against cancer, served on the board for 14 years before resigning to return to private law practice in 1978.
In addition to serving as a supervisor, Francois was known in the city for his early activism, including his arrest on Sept. 15, 1963, along with 10 others outside a real estate company during a sit-in protesting housing discrimination against blacks.
As a lawyer for the local chapter of the NAACP, Francois also filed suits against discrimination in housing, jobs and education and fought for the appointment of blacks to political office. After only two years in practice, Francois in 1952 sued the San Francisco Housing Authority, charging it admitted only white and Asian families to a new city housing project.
In a later suit, he charged he was refused service in a local tavern because he was black, and in 1955 he began filing complaints of police brutality. In 1956, he toured the state on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower.