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Albert Dawson, Va. Pioneering Court Clerk, Dies

December 2, 2012

PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) - Albert Austin Dawson Jr., the first African American to be elected as a circuit court clerk in Virginia, has died. He was 66.

Bland's Funeral Home says Dawson died Wednesday at his home in Petersburg.

Dawson worked as a teacher and school administrator in Petersburg in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1985, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

His son, Albert A. Dawson III, tells The Richmond Times-Dispatch that he decided to try again. He ran for Petersburg Circuit Court clerk and won that race. He served from 1988 until 1996.

Dawson returned to teaching after he left the circuit court clerk's office and retired in 2002.

A funeral service is scheduled at noon Saturday at First Baptist Church in Petersburg.

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