Rev. Dr. George Benjamin Brooks, Sr.

General Information

George B. Brooks, Benjamin Harrison Brooks
Black/African American
January 18, 1926
Edisto Island, Charleston Co., SC, USA
September 26, 2007
Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ, USA
Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Legislative Resolution

View Legislative Resolution File for Rev. Dr. George Benjamin Brooks, Sr.

Biographical Information

Rep. Armando Ruiz was appointed March 29, 1991 to replace Sen. Carolyn Walker who had been expelled from the Senate and he resigned his House seat April 1, 1991.  He was replaced by Rev. Dr. George Benjamin Brooks, Sr. who was appointed April 1, 1991 as Representative for District 23 and was sworn in April 2, 1991 (Journal of the House of Representatives, 40th Legislature, 1991, pp. v, 584, 635; Mike Padgett. "Ruiz to Replace Walker in Senate."  The Phoenix Gazette, March 29, 1991, p. A2; Mike Padgett. "Vacancy in House is Filled:  Minister to Take Ruiz's Post as Representative."  The Phoenix Gazette, April 1, 1991, p. B1)

The following is from the Legislative death resolution:

The Rev. Dr. George Brooks, Sr. passed away on September 26, 2007 at the age of eighty-one.

A tireless advocate of civil rights and social change, George Brooks worked diligently to better the world around him and dedicated himself to fighting discrimination in this state.  He served in the Navy and graduated from Johnson C. Smith University with a degree in pre-law, and in 1951 he earned his Master's of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary.  He was then asked by Presbyterian executives to move to Arizona and start the state's first African American Presbyterian church.  He founded Southminster Presbyterian Church in south Phoenix and served as its pastor until his retirement in 1996.

For more than half a century, George Brooks was a strong voice of reason in the fight for equality for all citizens, and his efforts distinguished him as a leading civil rights leader in Arizona.  He served as president of the Maricopa County NAACP from 1964 to 1972, and in 1964, he lobbied in Washington for funds to start a preschool, a proposal that was instrumental in the establishment of Head Start.  He served as a member of the Arizona legislature and as a longtime school board member with the Roosevelt Elementary School District, and also founded Meals on Wheels in the Phoenix community.

In 1973, George Brooks received his Master's of Education degree from Arizona State University, and three years later he earned his Ph.D. in Ministry and Counseling from San Francisco Theological Seminary.  He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Johnson C. Smith Seminary in 1995.  In all of his efforts, George Brooks gave selflessly of his time, energy and abilities, and his courage, tenacity and outspoken passion for civil rights continue to inspire a new generation of civic leaders.

Military Experience

U.S. Navy, World War II veteran:  "In 1944, during World War II, he enlisted into the Navy.  He went to basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois and was assigned to a sub-tender."  ("Rev. Dr. George Benjamin Brooks, Sr." The Arizona Republic, October 3, 2007, p. B 8)


Occupation Title Years
Community/Social Services/Religious founder and pastor, Southminster Presbyterian Church, Phoenix, Arizona 1954 - 1996
Community/Social Services/Religious president, Maricopa County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 1964 - 1972

Arizona Legislative Service

Session Chamber Party District City County Office Notes
40th Legislature, 2nd Regular House Democrat 23 - Maricopa (1983-92) (1993-2002) Phoenix Maricopa sworn in 4/2/1991 replacing Rep. Armando Ruiz who resigned


Birth:  DOB:  Arizona Legislative Biography sheet "George B. Brooks" "1-18-26 South Carolina", POB:  obituary:  "Rev. Dr. George Benjamin Brooks, Sr." The Arizona Republic, October 3, 2007, p. B 8:  "Dr. Brooks was born Benjamin Harrison Brooks on January 18, 1926 in Edisto Island, South CarolinaHis parents were Willie and Susie Brooks.  No one is quite sure how the name George came about, however by the time he was 4 years old and according to the 1930 South Carolina census, he was listed as George Brooks."; Death: obituary:  Lindsey Collom.  "George Brooks , Icon of Rights Era, Dies At 81."  The Arizona Republic, September 28, 2007, p. B 3; Cemetery:  "Rev. Dr. George Benjamin Brooks, Sr." The Arizona Republic, October 3, 2007, p. B 8; Occupation(s):  Legislative death resolution and Southminster Presbyterian Church online brochure