Thursday, January 14, 2010

Former Mayor James Rutherford Dead at 84

Kristen Longley of The Flint Journal reports:
James Rutherford, former Flint mayor, police chief and longtime Flint political icon, has died. He was 84.

Family members said Rutherford, who most recently retired as director of the Flint Downtown Development Authority, died in his sleep this morning at his home in Flint.

A native of the city, Rutherford's career spanned more than six decades during some of the most turbulent social and political eras in Flint's history.

He was Flint's first strong mayor since 1930, and the only Flint mayor to leave the office and then return for a second time, having replaced recalled Mayor Woodrow Stanley in 2002.


  1. I spent a few hours with him in the waitng room at McLaren hospital in 1971. His daughter was having a baby and my first daughter was being born.

  2. Of course, the Flint Journal can not seem to check their facts. Several Flint Mayors serve nonback to back terms:
    William Hamilton (1863-65; 1876-77)
    Charles S. Mott (Citizens Party 1912-14; R 1918-19)
    William H. McKeighan (R 1915-16; 1922-23; 1927-28; City Commission Mayor 1931-33),_Michigan


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at