Campaign flyer from Joe’s first Chapel Hill Town Council race, 1979

About Joe

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Chapel Hill, N.C., United States
Joe Herzenberg was born June 25, 1941, to Morris & Marjorie Herzenberg. His father owned the town pharmacy in Franklin, N.J., where Joe grew up. After he graduated from Yale University in 1964, Joe went to Mississippi to register voters for Freedom Summer. He joined the faculty of historically black Tougaloo College, where he was appointed chair of the history department. Joe arrived in Chapel Hill in 1969 to enroll as a graduate student in history at the University of North Carolina, and, along with his partner Lightning Brown, soon immersed himself in local, state, and national politics. Although Joe’s first campaign for the Chapel Hill Town Council in 1979 was unsuccessful, he was appointed to the Council to fill a vacant seat and served until 1981. In 1987, he was elected to the Council, becoming the former Confederacy's first openly gay elected official. Joe died surrounded by friends on October 28, 2007. He was 66 years old.

Sunday, January 30, 2000

Readers know about their pizza

Chapel Hill Herald, Jan. 30, 2000

Last week's Challenge readers know their pizza joints, including Courtney Morris who knew the answer to the following:

Where on Franklin Street can you get a slice of Luau pizza?

The hint was that compared to a slice of Luau, the regular Hawaiian pizza, ham and pineapple, is like looking at slides of someone else's vacation.

The answer is Pepper's Pizza on East Franklin Street. Pepper's opened its doors in the mid-1980s and has become a favorite hangout since for those looking to rub shoulders with an eclectic mix of customers and staff.


On the wall opposite the front counter are several profiles of Pepper's customers, including Joe Herzenberg whose profile describes his occupation as "small town politician" and his latest accomplishment as "an out-of-town trip to Carrboro."

There's also an ever-changing display of artwork for sale above the booths.