Harry B. Silver
|Harry Bernard Silver|
Silver at his Weiss & Goldring Department Store
Alexandria City Councilman
for District 4
2005 – February 10, 2021
|Preceded by||Rick Ranson|
|Succeeded by||Catherine Davidson|
|Born|| January 19, 1922|
Newark, New Jersey
|Died|| April 8, 2022 (aged 100)|
|Resting place||Jewish Cemetery in Pineville|
|Political party||Democrat-turned briefly Republican-returned Democrat|
|Spouse(s)||Marilyn Levy Silver (married 1948-2022, his death)|
|Children|| Kathy Silver Hussey|
William Roy Silver
Harry Bernard Silver (January 19, 1922 – April 8, 2022) was a businessman and a former 16-year member of the city council in his adopted city of Alexandria, Louisiana. He did not begin his political service until 2005, when he was eighty-three years of age. A Democrat, he represented District 4 on the Alexandria City Council until 2021, having stepped down at the age of ninety-nine. He is believed to have been the oldest public official in the United States and possibly the world.
After an initial appointment to fill a vacancy on the city council, Silver ran in 2006 as a Republican and won the race with 56 percent of the ballots cast. In 2010, as a Democrat, Silver won a second term with 77 percent of the vote. In 2014, he defeated two challengers with 58 percent of the vote. In his last election in 2018, he ran without opposition.
Born and reared in East Orange, New Jersey, Silver was a son of David and Rose Silver. He permanently moved to Alexandria in 1948 after having served there during World War II and meeting his wife, the former Marilyn Levy (born 1928). The couple married that same year on the national radio program, Bride and Groom, which subsequently was adapted for television and was a forerunner of reality television. Silver worked in various capacities at Weiss & Goldring Department Store, owned by his in-laws. He stepped back as the company chairman at the age of ninety-nine and left responsibilities to his son, Ted Michael Silver. Weiss & Goldring was established in downtown Alexandria in 1935; the company now operates at Alexandria Mall.
Silver was a board member and chairman/president of the Alexandria Credit Bureau, the Alexandria Mental Health Board, the Alexandria Retail Merchants Association, Central Cities Development Corporation, the Jewish Temple, Rapides Regional Hospital Board, Rapides Foundation, and the United Way. He also served as a board member of Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Retailers Association, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, and the Young Men's Christian Association. He received numerous business and civic awards throughout his lifetime was always the best-dressed person in a room. One of his honors was being named "CenLa’s most celebrated civic champion," which was bestowed upon him in 2012 and 2017 by Cenla Focus, a reference to Central Louisiana.
In addition to his wife and son Ted (wife Ann Brame), he had two daughters, Kathy Silver Hussey (husband David) and Amy Helene Silver, and a second son, William Roy Silver. His services were held at Alexandria City Hall, with Rabbsi Carol Davidson and Raina Siorty officiating. Interment was at the Jewish Cemetery in Pineville.
Other Louisiana Jewish politicians:
- Harry Silver, 100 - Alexandria | Free Public Reputation Profile (mylife.com), accessed April 18, 2022.
- Lamar White, Jr. (April 11, 2022). Harry B. Silver (1922-2022), CenLa’s Most Celebrated Civic Champion Dies at 100. Retrieved on april 18, 2022.
- Weiss & Goldring | Alexandria Mall, accessed April 18, 2022.
- Harry Bernard Silver Obituary - The Town Talk, accessed April 18, 2022.