Dale Danks, former Jackson mayor, dies of complications from stroke

Dale Danks recent (left) and in 1979, as mayor of Jackson (Source: WLBT)
Dale Danks recent (left) and in 1979, as mayor of Jackson (Source: WLBT)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 3:31 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Former Jackson Mayor Dale Danks has died.

Danks, an attorney, died Wednesday afternoon due to complications from a stroke.

He was surrounded by family at the time, according to a statement released by the family.

Danks, 81, served as mayor of Jackson from 1977 to 1989. He was mayor when the city transitioned from a mayor-commission form of government to a mayor-council form.

He also led the city through the 1979 and 1983 floods.

Danks’ bid for a fourth term was thwarted by Kane Ditto, who went on to serve two terms of his own in office.

After losing by less than 1,000 votes in that race, he urged city leaders to build on what was right in Jackson and thanked the voters for helping him achieve his goal of serving.

“From the days when I worked on city garbage trucks as a teenager, my ambition was to serve as mayor of this city,” he said. “That ambition was fulfilled and I thank the people of Jackson for allowing that to happen.”

WLBT Anchor Maggie Wade reflected on her relationship with Danks on her Facebook page.

“I had been at WLBT a little over a year when I was in an accident with one of our photographers. We were rear-ended at a traffic light. One of the first people to come to the hospital to make sure we were alright was Mayor Dale Danks. I can’t tell you how many more times over the years that he showed his friendship, love, support, and kindness to me and my family.”

My heart is so heavy right now. Dale Danks was one of the most kind and generous people I have ever met. I had been at...

Posted by Maggie Wade, WLBT on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

After his time in office, Danks entered private practice and served as a municipal court judge in the city of Madison. In 2014, Danks presided over the initial appearance of Clayton Kelly, a political blogger who faced charges in relation to taking and posting a photo he took of Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife.

In 2004, he opened a downtown Jackson law firm with Michael Cory.

“He was definitely an icon in the community and helped a lot of people,” Cory said.

Jackson’s Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released this statement on Danks’ passing: “I extend my deepest condolences and prayers to the family of former Jackson Mayor Dale Danks, Jr. We honor his memory by continuing the necessary work to see this city prosper and achieve all that we know it can be.”

Funeral arrangements have not been set.

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