From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Burroughs, Olive Marie James

(born: September 24, 1950  -  died: June 6, 2003) 

Olive M. Burroughs was born in Owensboro, KY, the daughter of Leroy Sr. and Minnie L. James. Olive Burroughs was the first African American woman elected to the Owensboro, KY City Commission, first in 1995 and continuously until 2002. She was instrumental in developing the Neighborhood Alliance and the Owensboro Youth Council. Burroughs also served on the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, the National League of Cities Human Development Committee, and the Coalition Drug Task Force of U. S. Representative Lewis Heartland.

The Heritage Award was presented to Burroughs posthumously by the Owensboro Board of Realtors in 2004; it is the highest community honor. Burroughs received many additional awards, including the NAACP Herman E. Floyd Award. She retired from BellSouth and was a licensed realtor. 

For more see "Burroughs wins Heritage Award posthumously," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 5/12/2004; Josh Kelly, "'We've made an accomplishment here.' Olive Burroughs and the origin of the Neighborhood Alliance," 2/18/2022, online at Owensboro Times; and James Maysie, "Voice for the People: Burroughs, first Black woman on city commission, left lasting mark," 2/14/2022, Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro); "Obituaries: Olive James Burroughs," Messenger-Inquirer, 06/08/2003, p.14.

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NKAA Source: Owensboro messenger-inquirer (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Owensboro times (online)

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“Burroughs, Olive Marie James,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 28, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-03-01 17:55:47