On this day in 1970, Adrian Malik Fenty was born in Washington, D.C.
Fenty graduated from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School and then went on to attend Oberlin College in Ohio, where he gained his first political experience while serving as an intern for Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum. Additionally, Fenty interned for District of Columbia delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Massachusetts Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II.
Graduating in 1992 from Oberlin with a bachelor’s degree in English and economics, Fenty then enrolled at Howard University Law School, where he earned his J.D. in 1996. After graduating, he worked for two years as the lead attorney for the District of Columbia Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation. Additionally, he was passionate about fighting crime, serving as president of 16th Street Neighborhood Association.
In 1999, Fenty was elected to the Washington, D.C. City Council representing Ward Four. During his first term, he advocated for increased policing in high-crime neighborhoods, helped craft programs that created new jobs for those in poverty, and raised money for the construction of 13 recreational centers and schools in the area.
At 35 years old, Fenty was elected mayor of Washington, D.C., making him the youngest person to ever hold the position. He focused on hiring qualified teachers and more police officers as well as expanding health care coverage.
Instituting a CapStart accountability program, Fenty monitored local government agencies’ performance scores. However, by 2010, Fenty’s popularity decreased, as he was criticized by parents and teachers who were upset with his choice of School Superintendent, Michelle Rhee. In 2010, he lost his reelection bid to Washington City Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.
Fenty currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their three children.