Pierre Hollingsworth

Marker located on Northeast Corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Pacific Avenue.

Historical Marker text:

1931 – 2007
An Atlantic City Native, he served in the Army's 584th Medical Corp during the Korean War. He attended the New Jersey College of Commerce, Atlantic Community College, and the New York Institute of Technology. He was one of five blacks to integrate the fire department and to promote the advancement of its minority members. Hollingsworth was one of the first captains to command an integrated fire station, retired from the fire department at the rank of Deputy Chief, and then became the third black elected City Commissioner. He served as president of the Atlantic City Branch of the NAACP for 24 years and was a State Board member. As president, he successfully spearheaded several campaigns of change in the city, most notably the drive to change the form of government from commission to council. The former Chairman of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority also hosted several local radio shows, and is a member of St. James AME Church.

 hollingsworth crop



Additional information:

The Northside
author Nelson Johnson said that Pierre Hollingsworth was not "just [a] great African-American leader, [but a] great leader regardless of race." His efforts to better the living conditions and opportunities for black residents of Atlantic City were extensive, encompassing a promotion of fire awareness through his position as one of the "Big Three" fire captains, a fight against several discriminatory practices, and services as an adviser to Atlantic City mayors Usry and Langford. Hollingsworth was said to use "a bullhorn and emotions to make people confront race relations" in many NAACP rallies.

He fought for affordable housing in the city, and for the use of casino funds to achieve it, and is credited with getting Atlantic County to stop differentiating between White and Colored voters on ballots. He also rallied against practices that ignored black applicants for civil service positions. Many of Hollingsworth's ideas on Civil Rights and race relations were broadcast in his WUSS radio program, "Come What May, We Are Here To Stay."

Privately, Hollingsworth had two children, and was married to Soundra Usry-Hollingsworth, niece of Atlantic City Mayor James Usry. Pierre Hollingsworth died in 2007.

 Pierre Hollingsworth. (101 Women Plus, Inc. 1995 calendar. Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library)

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Biography File - Pierre Hollingsworth
Nelson Johnson. The Northside.

experience logo no background Click above to visit the Atlantic City Experience site. Visit the Atlantic City Historical Museum and see the best historical and cultural resources of Atlantic City.

City of Atlantic City