Ralph Perk
American politician
Ralph Perk
Ralph Joseph Perk was an American politician of the Republican Party who served as the 52nd mayor of Cleveland, Ohio.
Ralph Perk's personal information overview.
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Balloonfest 1986, the spectacle that become a debacle: Cleveland Remembers - Plain Dealer
Google News - over 5 years
By that standard, at least, Balloonfest '86 deserves a spot in Cleveland's roll of infamy along with the burning river and the time Mayor Ralph Perk's wife turned down a White House dinner because it was her bowling night
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Google News article
Frank Talk - Cleveland Scene Weekly
Google News - over 5 years
They were all black, and they were all the antithesis of their ethnic counterparts — mayors like Ralph Perk and Dennis Kucinich, whose reigns turned back the clock on Cleveland. The three black leaders — Carl Stokes, George Forbes, and Mike White
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Google News article
American Nationalities Movement embarks on new era: Global Village - Plain Dealer (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- When future Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk launched the American Nationalities Movement in 1959, dozens of nations lay trapped behind what was then called an Iron Curtain of communism. For years, the Cleveland-based group lobbied and
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Cleveland Love For Dallas Gets Creepy - FWWeekly
Google News - over 5 years
6) Ask a girl to dance using the line “You polka, no.” 7) Set your hair on fire with a welding torch. Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk was cutting some metal to open a welding convention and set his hair on fire. That's all for now. Welcome all you Honorary
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Somehow, somewhere, Kucinich is running: Brent Larkin - Plain Dealer
Google News - over 5 years
In 1971, the Democratic councilman supported Republican Ralph Perk's winning campaign for mayor of Cleveland. A significant part of Perk's strategy was to label one of his main opponents, wealthy businessman James Carney, a "carpetbagger
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Exit, Stage Left - Cleveland Scene Weekly
Google News - over 5 years
Kucinich and former Mayor Ralph Perk gave the town one of the most hilarious decades in city history and sent Cleveland into default for a punch line. The Municipal Light Plant, now called Cleveland Public Power, had a long and tortured history,
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Cleveland, Cincinnati share similar passions for different things: Bill Livingston - Plain Dealer
Google News - almost 6 years
The wife of former Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk turned down a White House invitation because it was on her bowling night. Former Cincinnatian and star of the silver screen Tyrone Power offered to fund a gymnasium at Purcell High School, Roger Staubach's
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Sam Miller will help Cleveland International Hall of Fame induct nine new members - Plain Dealer (blog)
Google News - almost 6 years
Otis Moss Jr., the late former Mayor Ralph Perk, radio personality Gerry Quinn and Vietnamese community leader Gia Hoa Ryan. Miller's message should resonate with many in the audience of 400 people in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Downtown
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Google News article
Tiger's Double Bogey
NYTimes - almost 20 years
There have been other disses of historic proportion. There was the time the wife of Mayor Ralph Perk of Cleveland turned down an invitation to a Nixon White House dinner because it was her bowling night. Still, as snubs go, this one was pretty impressive. The leader of the free world offered to send an Air Force plane to pick up Tiger Woods so he
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NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ralph Perk
  • 1999
    Age 85
    Perk died in Westlake, Ohio, in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park, Ohio.
  • 1989
    Age 75
    Perk's son, Ralph J. Perk, Jr., served as a municipal court judge in Cleveland from 1989 to 2003.
    More Details Hide Details Another son, Thomas Perk, is a council member in the village of Valley View in addition to being a fire fighter. Yet another son, Kenneth Perk, is a member of the Cuyahoga Heights Board of Education. His second youngest son, Allen G. Perk, is the President and CEO of XLNsystems Inc. in Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1977
    Age 63
    In 1977, however, Perk suffered an upset defeat in the non-partisan primary for mayor, finishing third behind Dennis Kucinich and Edward F. Feighan. (Kucinich prevailed over Feighan in the general election).
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  • 1974
    Age 60
    In 1974, The Plain Dealer exposed Eberling's record as a petty criminal in a front-page story; Perk defended Eberling, and approved the financing of project until the amount significantly over-reached the budgeted amount.
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    In 1974, Perk won the Republican nomination for the United States Senate seat formerly held by William B. Saxbe, who had resigned to accept the appointment to the office of United States Attorney General.
    More Details Hide Details Perk, however, was defeated soundly by Democrat John Herschel Glenn, Jr. Perk had stated that he was counting on running against the incumbent senator, Howard M. Metzenbaum, who had been recently appointed to the seat by then Governor John J. Gilligan. When Metzenbaum lost the primary to Glenn (The two were later Senate colleagues for many years.), Perk expressed doubt that he could win the election, particularly in the Democrats year of Watergate. In 1972, Perk was a part of the opening ceremonies for the American Society for Metals at the Cleveland Convention Center. He symbolically "cut the ribbon" at the Convention, where the ribbon was titanium (which makes sparks when hit with a welding torch) and the scissors were a welding torch. A spark hit his head and his hair caught on fire because of a certain substance put in his hair when he was at the barber's earlier that day. There were surprisingly around 300 engineers watching, and none of them bothered to mention there was nothing protecting his head before they started. Cameras were rolling all while this was taking place and the most famous picture of Perk was taken that day. Newspapers from Australia and Israel even pictured the mayor with his hair ablaze.
    In 1974 Mayor Perk proposed merging the CTS-or Cleveland Transit System with suburban transit systems.
    More Details Hide Details In 1975, voters passed a 1% sales tax to create the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. As mayor, Perk had a reputation of being tough with city employee labor unions. One time, the fire fighters union instigated a protest by closing City Hall one day by standing on the front steps of the building and allowing only the mail and their political allies to gain access. The ploy worked, and the fire fighters received what they were negotiating.
  • 1973
    Age 59
    Perk also appointed Richard Eberling in 1973 to chair a committee to redecorate the mayor's office in City Hall, a move that proved unpopular with numerous sources.
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    In 1973, Mayor Perk and his Akron Counterpart met and proposed building Project CAIA-or Cleveland Akron International Airport on in Richfield, Ohio.
    More Details Hide Details Had CAIA been built, CAIA would have rivaled New York JFK, or Chicago's O'Hare. Hopkins Airport would have become like Chicago's Midway Airport. This plan was opposed by nature lovers, who petitioned the US Government to create the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in 1974.
    Perk went on to win the general election and was reelected in 1973 and 1975.
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  • 1972
    Age 58
    As Mayor, Perk started to think about regional Cleveland-Cuyahoga County governmental structure and agencies. In 1972, three years after the Cuyahoga River caught fire and pressures from the EPA, Perk formed the NEORSD-or the North East Ohio Regional Sewer District.
    More Details Hide Details Perk recommended the Cleveland Police to move to the Justice Center after years of battles between Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland.
    As mayor, Perk became the subject of national ridicule on October 16, 1972, when he accidentally set his hair on fire while he attempted to use a welder's torch for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a convention in Cleveland
    More Details Hide Details Perk was again publicly humiliated after suggesting that a study on pornography ought to be conducted by municipal sanitation workers. Perk also banned the sale of Playboy Magazine at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, causing even more ridicule to fall upon him. Perk's wife, Lucille, achieved notoriety when she rejected an invitation from First Lady Pat Nixon to an event at the White House in order to attend her regular bowling night. Later, Perk explained his wife's comment to mean that she was unable to attend because the invitation had come too late and she was unable to prepare for travel. Perk was rumored to say, "tell them it's your bowling night." Though the remark brought howls of laughter, it endeared the Perks to their ethnic base.
  • 1971
    Age 57
    In 1971, Perk won the Republican nomination for mayor for the third time.
    More Details Hide Details He defeated future mayor, governor, and U.S. Senator George Voinovich, then a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, in the primary.
  • 1965
    Age 51
    In 1965 and 1969, Perk ran for mayor of Cleveland and was defeated both times in the general election.
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  • 1962
    Age 48
    In 1962, he was elected auditor of Cuyahoga County, the first Republican to win countywide office since the mid-1930s; he was re-elected in 1966 and 1970.
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  • 1954
    Age 40
    Eberling was later found guilty in the death of Ethel M. Durkin, a Cleveland area widow; he also linked himself to the Marilyn Sheppard murder in Bay Village, in 1954.
    More Details Hide Details Circumstantial evidence also links Eberling to at least four other murders committed over a period from 1946 to 1970 that involved his stepfather, his purported girlfriend, and both of Mrs. Durkin's sisters.
  • 1953
    Age 39
    Beginning in 1953, Perk was elected to five two-year terms on the Cleveland City Council from the city's Ward 13.
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  • 1914
    Age 0
    Born on January 19, 1914.
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