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Posted: 04/12/12 02:34 PM ET  |  Updated: 04/12/12 04:05 PM ET

Harold Washington Birthday: Chicago Celebrates Late Mayor's 90th Birthday (PHOTOS)

Chicago has a long history of larger-than-life mayors, and the city's first African-American leader was no exception.

Harold Washington served as an Illinois State Senator and U.S. Congressional Representative before he was elected Mayor of Chicago in 1983, a position he held until his death in 1987 of a heart attack.

Sunday, April 15 would have been Washington's 90th birthday, and several Chicago organizations are hosting events to commemorate his legacy.

The Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago's main library, will host a spotlight on Washington's Chicago Cultural Plan initiated during his time in office.

We Can, Inc., a Chicago-based African-American business alliance, is hosting a memorial celebration (featuring karaoke) at Josephine's Hardtimes Cooking Restaurant, 436 E. 79th St. in Chicago. NBC's Art Norman, Vice President of the National Association of Black Journalists, is emceeing.

Both events are scheduled for Thursday, which happens to be the 29th anniversary of Washington's mayoral first election in 1983. Washington was reelected shortly before he passed away.

Check out some archival photos from Washington's time in office:

Harold Washington
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Chicago Mayor Harold Washington blows out the candles on his birthday cake during a party for him at Chicago's Navy Pier Tuesday on April 15, 1986, night. Washington was celebrating his 64th birthday. (AP Photo/Charlie Bennett)
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Filed by Lizzie Schiffman  |