Douglas Dollarhide, whose election as Compton's first black mayor in 1969 symbolized the demographic transformation of what was once a predominantly white area, has died. He was 85.
The Oklahoma native and member of numerous community groups was on life support for three years before family chose take him off, said his nephew, Vernon T. Wilson.
He was an unassuming perfectionist who loved to read, quote Shakespeare and listen to Bach and Beethoven.
"All he'd ever talk about were things that needed to be done," Wilson said, "not about his accomplishments."
Dollarhide became the first elected black councilman of Compton by 75 votes in 1963. He was elected mayor in 1969.
Dollarhide oversaw the construction of a City Hall and a community center that was later named the Dollarhide Neighborhood Center. Combating drugs, alcohol abuse and crime was a top priority.
Dollarhide was considered a pioneering figure at a time when other cities in southeast Los Angeles County were becoming increasingly black and Latino.