Carol Ann Campbell (Born December 21, 1936), former Philadelphia City Councilwoman, has been called, “… one of Philadelphia’s most influential power-brokers”. She is the daughter of former City Councilman, and Clerk of Quarter Session leader, Edgar C. Campbell, Sr.
Carol Ann represented the City’s fourth Council District for just over a year, but her influence, arguably by many, exceeded that of most local elected officials. She was “the consummate party insider”, as labeled by a city news reporter.
But Carol Ann was not always a political figure. In fact, as a young lady she studied to be a concert pianist. She loved the arts and culture, working with young people, and especially young girls with children. Carol Ann, like her father, wanted to help her people. He chose politics and she initially chooses education. She wanted all the neighborhood children to complete high school, get a job or attend college, so much so, she became proficient in getting grants for students to obtain higher education. She assisted hundreds of young people from her community to go to college.
Carol Ann and her father shared a special bound, one every father wishes he is able to have with his daughter; therefore it is no surprise for many, when Carol Ann began to take interest in her father’s work. She found herself being drawn closer and closer to the political arena, and eventually, felt herself starting to follow her father into politics. Edgar Sr. was elected to City Council in 1968 and she became his assistant in his office. Carol Ann worked courageously on constituent services for the people of the City of Philadelphia. She was relentless in her efforts to serve those most in need, as she often referred to them as “the little people”; her long-term illness began to slow her down, which prohibited many of her projects from coming to full fruition. However, from her home, she used the telephone like a ‘sword’ to continue to protect and provide service to her community.
She worked tirelessly to organize the people in West Philadelphia to become involved in politics and local government. Many young men and women of prominence in Philadelphia today got their start or received assistance from Carol Ann, including: Mayor Michel A. Nutter, United States Congressman Robert A. Brady; Judge Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson; Attorney Bernard W. Smalley; and Judge C. Darnell Jones, II, (who now seats on a United States District Court).
After her father passed away she became the Leader of the 4th Ward in West Philadelphia, as he had been. Carol Ann’s reputation only grew stronger. She became a solid stalwart of the Democrat Party, a super Pennsylvania delegate to the 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention, and an advocate for putting Black Judges on the bench.
In fact, it was Carol Ann’s passion that led to more Black judicial candidates being chosen to be slated for Philadelphia judgeships. With the help of the Chairman of the Democrat Party, United States Congressman Robert A. Brady, Carol Ann was able to negotiate 50% of the upcoming judgeships to go to black candidates. Until her death (November 19, 2009); she remained active and committed to organizing Black leaders into a powerful political block.