251,549 Pages

Jyles Jackson Coggins
31st Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina

In office
October 1975 – October 1977
Preceded by Clarence Lightner
Succeeded by Isabella Cannon
Personal details
Born (1921-01-10)January 10, 1921
Iredell County, North Carolina
Died August 25, 2011(2011-08-25) (aged 90)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frances Katherine Lyon Coggins
Religion Christian

Jyles Jackson Coggins (January 10, 1921 – August 25, 2011) was an American politician who served in the North Carolina General Assembly as a state representative and senator. He was elected as the 31st Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina in 1975, serving one, two-year term.[1] The total population of Raleigh expanded by more than three times during his career in elected office.[1]

Coggins was born on January 10, 1921, in Iredell County, North Carolina, where he was raised on a farm.[1] He attended college at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and Duke University.[1] However, Coggins never earned a bachelor's degree, which was something he regretted, according to his family.[1] Coggins enlisted in the United States Marines during World War II, serving as a bomber pilot, which earned him ten military awards including two Distinguished Flying Crosses.[1] He became known as "Bomber Jack" Coggins to his fellow Marines during the war.[1]

Coggins returned to his native North Carolina in 1946 following the end of World War II. He soon established a small construction company, which grew into a larger business by the early 1960s.[1] Coggins remained in the construction industry for more than sixty years.[1] By his own account, Coggins held a number of former jobs before becoming successful in construction, including sales, janitor, airplace factory inspector, and railroad brakeman.[1] He was responsible for the construction of several landmark buildings in the Raleigh region, including Raleigh Memorial Park's mausoleum, which stands seven stories tall, and both the Beckanna Apartments and several commercial developments along the city's Glenwood Avenue.[1]

Coggins simultaneously launched his political career in the early 1960s as well. Coggins affiliated himself as a political conservative within the Democratic Party, often voting against the party line while in the state legislature.[1] He was first elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1963, serving one term in office.[1] Coggins was then elected to the North Carolina Senate in 1965. He won re-election to the Senate in 1967.[1]

In 1975, Jyles Coggins was elected the Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. Coggins was popular while as Mayor, though his sometimes strained relationship with the city council led to a challenge during his 1977 re-election campaign by a grassroots candidate, Isabella Cannon.[1] Cannon, who was 73 years old at the time, was nicknamed the "little old lady in tennis shoes."[1] In an upset, Cannon defeated Coggins in the 1977 mayoral election.[1]

Jyles Coggins died at his home in the West Raleigh neighborhood of the city on August 25, 2011, at the age of 90. He was survived by five daughters - Rebecca Coggins-Gibson, Anna Coggins, Debby Schmidt, Jaci Gholizadeh and Judy Coggins - 15 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandson. His wife, Frances Katherine Lyon Coggins, died on February 1, 1995.[1]


Political offices
Preceded by
Clarence Lightner
Mayor of Raleigh
Succeeded by
Isabella Cannon

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.