Schenck, David, 1927-1970


"Greensboro Mayor David Schenck was born 7 January 1927 in Greensboro, N.C., and was the great-grandson of Judge David Schenck, a prominent 19th century lawyer and politician in Greensboro. Schenck received a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University in 1947 and attended the business school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., in 1948. Schenck's father, Paul W. Schenck, founded an insurance business in Greensboro in 1912, which Schenck joined with his brother Paul W. Schenck Jr. in 1948. Upon his father's death in 1950, Schenck became owner-manager of Schenck and Company. Schenck continued in the insurance business into the 1960s and from 1960 to 1961 he served as vice president of the North Carolina Association of Insurance Agents. In 1959, Schenck was elected to the Greensboro City Council where he served as chair of the Transportation Committee and later on the Mayor's Special Committee on Human Relations and Race Relations in 1960. On 8 May 1961, Schenck was elected mayor of Greensboro. He was reelected in 1963 and served until 1965. During his tenure as mayor, Schenck witnessed mass civil rights demonstrations by African-American students and others in Greensboro, culminating in his June 1963 decision to urge Greensboro businesses to voluntarily integrate their facilities. Schenck's actions during the events of 1963 were highly publicized and drew praise and criticism from pro-integrationists and segregationists alike. Schenck and his wife Doris had a daughter, also Doris, and two sons, David Jr., and Kenneth. Schenck died in 1970 at age 43 of a cerebral hemorrhage." --From biographical note, Inventory of the David Schenck Papers, 1953-1964, Manuscripts Department, University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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