Freeman R. Bosley Jr. carved a place in St. Louis history when he was elected the city’s first African American mayor in 1993. It wasn’t his only “first,” however. Bosley had also distinguished himself as the first African American to serve as St. Louis circuit clerk for the 22nd Judicial Circuit in 1982, then as chairperson of the Democratic Party in St. Louis in 1990.

Bosley had barely moved into the mayor’s office in City Hall when he had to declare a state of emergency in the flood of 1993. During the day he coordinated management procedures; at night he rolled up his sleeves and sandbagged at the levee. Although the city survived the flood, Bosley met much resistance, especially in south St. Louis, where he made the difficult decision to shut off gas and electricity to 2,500 skeptical residents in the floodplain who had refused to evacuate.

Other notable achievements during Bosley’s mayoral term include his role in coordinating the $70 million buyout of Trans World Airlines (TWA), in which TWA moved its world headquarters to St. Louis. Also, he oversaw efforts to move the Los Angeles Rams football team to St. Louis in 1995.

Before entering the political arena, Bosley was a staff attorney specializing in consumer affairs at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. He returned to law practice after his term in office ended in 1997, eventually starting his own firm—Bosley and Associates—in 2004.


Former St. Louis Mayor & attorney
Freeman Bosley Jr.


This localy produced live call-in program with Freeman Bosley Jr. focuses on local community affairs, local politics and legal matters.