Trailblazer: Congressman Donald Payne, Sr.

Donald Payne, Sr. (1934-2012) was the first African American to represent New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives. He had run for Congress twice before winning the seat in 1988. In 1970, Payne became the first African American to serve as president of the National Council of YMCAs.  That year, he played a key role in helping Kenneth Gibson win his bid to become the first black mayor of