AC Wharton Jr. was the 63rd mayor of the City of Memphis, first elected in 2009 and subsequently reelected in 2011. He served until 2015. As Mayor, his Administration reduced crime, improved city services, enhanced quality of life, and created new good-paying jobs for Memphians.
Before being elected Mayor of Memphis, Wharton led a distinguished career in public service. In November, 1973, Mayor Wharton moved to Memphis to accept the job as executive director of Memphis Area Legal Services, a nonprofit organization providing civil legal assistance to low-income people. In 1980, Mayor Wharton was appointed as Shelby County’s Chief Public Defender, heading up the office providing free criminal representation to poor people. Mayor Wharton was also elected as the first African-American Shelby County Mayor in 2002 and easily reelected in 2006. As Mayor, he developed the county’s first financial plan and decreased its long-term debt, reduced the county payroll, increased efficiency, and limited county government to only one tax increase in seven years.