America’s Oldest Active Mayor

To be honest, the title of this blog post is a bit of a teaser. We’re not sure who the oldest active mayor is in America. Up until January of 2010 it was 102-year-old Dorothy Geeben.

Geeben, also known as “Mayor Dorothy,” moved to Ocean Park Breeze, Florida in 1952 and in 1976 was elected president of the town council. She held that position for 31 years until the death of Mayor Ruth Hoke. After Hoke passed away, Geeben was appointed to fill the post and served until two months ago.

In April 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized Geeben as the nation’s oldest mayor in April 2008. According to the Associated Press, the Meals on Wheels Association of America survey also finds her to be the oldest active mayor (until her passing in 2010).

This is a great example of someone being engaged with their community. Born Dorothy P. Colleen on March 31, 1908, the future mayor was raised in Wisconsin and contracted polio at a young age. She graduated from high school in Marion, Iowa and married an electrician; eventually working as his bookkeeper. They moved to Ocean Breeze Park to retire and lived in a mobile home. Ironically, it was during her “retirement” that she gained her fame as America’s oldest active mayor. She even appeared on NBC’s Today Show in 2004.

A few other tidbits about Geeben. She truly was an active mayor even though she (according to Wikipedia) characterized her role in the council as largely a ceremonial one. In 2008, Geeben helped mediate a deal that enabled many town residents to remain in their homes.

Engage As You Age would love to hear from anyone that can give us the scoop on the following:

  1. Who is now the oldest active mayor in America?
  2. Who is oldest active mayor in American history?
  3. Who is the oldest mayor in California history?
  4. Who is the oldest mayor in the San Francisco Bay Area?
  5. San Mateo County? Santa Clara County? Alameda County? Contra Costa County? Marin County?

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