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.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

RIP Alice the cat

Rest in Peace Alice the cat. :(

She had cancer. She was the sweetest. We are going to spread her ashes over Uncle Joe's grave in the spring. She was a great cat and will be missed.

- Sarah Herzenberg

Alice, Spring/Summer 2010

Alice was Joe's cat, who went to live with his family in New Jersey when Joe died. During his trip to Africa with Kathie Young in 2005, Joe had a memorable encounter with one of Alice's cousins.