The Life & Times of Ralph J. Perk

Timeline of Events

The timeline below includes just some of the major events in Mayor Perk's prolific life. A more detailed timeline is also available.

Date Event
1914 Born on January 19th of Czech/Slovak descent.
1914-99 Member of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
1929 Dropped out of East Tech High School.
1935 Joined the 13th Ward Republican Club.
1938-42 Office Manager Perk Realty Co.
1940 Married Lucille Gagliardi had 7 children, 19 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren.
1941-45 Received medical exemption from service.
1943 Joined the Knights of Columbus.
1948 Young Republicans Campaign Manager for Presidential candidate Robert A. Taft.
1952-63 Part time Executive Assistant to Republican State/National Chairman Ray C. Bliss.
1953-61 Served as Cleveland City Councilman from the 13th Ward.
1955 Youngest recipient of the "Catholic Man of the Year" award.
1959 Founded American Nationalities Movement.
1962 Elected County Auditor by 20,000 votes.
1966, 70 Re-elected County Auditor.
1971 Elected Cleveland Mayor by defeating George V. Voinovich in the primary.
1972 Burned hair at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the American Society of Metals convention.
Criticized by media when Mrs. Perk turned down an invitation to a White House reception.
1972, 75 Re-elected Mayor established Regional Sewer District and Regional Transit Authority.
1974 Ran for U.S. Senate, won the primary but lost the election to John H. Glenn.
1977 Lost mayoral primary to Dennis Kucinich and Edward F. Feighan.
1978 Founded Ralph J. Perk & Associates, Inc.
1999 Died of prostate cancer on April 21st
2003 Inducted into Republican Party Cuyahoga County Hall of Fame.