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Newark Holds State Funeral For Ken Gibson, City's First African-American Mayor

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - A state funeral was held today for former mayor Ken Gibson, Newark's first African-American mayor and the first black mayor of a major northeast city.

Gibson died last Friday at the age of 86.

Sen. Cory Booker praised Gibson on Twitter as "an incredible man."

"Newark wouldn't be where it is today without his steady stewardship," the New Jersey senator said. "As the first African American mayor of a major city here in the Northeast, he was a big inspiration for me and countless others."

Gibson was elected in 1970 and served four terms during a period following what current Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka called "a tumultuous and difficult time as the city tried to recover from the Newark Rebellion" riots of 1967.

The former mayor will lie in state at City Hall from noon to 6:00 p.m., followed by a funeral service at Newark Symphony Hall at 7 p.m.

The public will be able to pay their respects at both events.

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