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Uhlman served as Seattle’s Mayor from 1969 until 1977, during an electrifying period of protest and change. Uhlman grew up in Moscow, Idaho and Aberdeen, Washington and described himself as “basically a small town person.” Moving to Seattle to attend college, he was elected into the Washington State House of Representatives while still a student at Seattle Pacific University. After serving eight years in Washington’s House and four years in the state Senate he was elected Mayor in 1969.
At 34 years old, he was the youngest Mayor ever elected in Seattle. There was little time for celebration. Boeing announced massive layoffs only weeks after he took office and Mayor Uhlman was forced to deal with one of the most severe economic downturns in Seattle's history. In addition to the economic crisis, Mayor Uhlman worked at cleaning up a notoriously corrupt Police Department and attempting to bring racial integration to Seattle’s City Departments.