A C Wharton, Jr. was sworn in as the Mayor of the City of Memphis on October 26, 2009, becoming Memphis' first new Mayor in 18 years. An attorney by trade, Wharton is a former public defender and served as executive director of the nonprofit Memphis Area Legal Services, which received national recognition as a result of his leadership. Prior to being elected Mayor of the City of Memphis, Wharton served as the Mayor of Shelby County for seven years and was the first African-American elected to that office.