Xavier Suarez


1948 –

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Who is Xavier Suarez?

Xavier L. Suarez was the first native born Cuban mayor of Miami.

Suarez attended the Colegio de Belen but graduated from St. Anselm's Abbey School in 1967, earned a degree in engineering from Villanova University in 1971, and later studied government and law at Harvard University. He later returned to Miami and built his support in the city's Cuban community, and was sworn in as mayor on November 13, 1985, replacing Puerto Rico-born Maurice Ferre.

Suarez was first elected Mayor in 1985. He was re-elected in 1987 and again in 1989 for a four-year term. Suarez was highly regarded as Mayor of Miami. According to a March 30, 1993 article in The Miami Herald, "In 1989, [Suarez] won national admiration when he waded through hostile crowds in Overtown during civil disturbances to try to make peace." Suarez cited the construction of 1,500 affordable homes as one of his "proudest achievements" during his tenure. He was also given the name "pothole Mayor" for his attention to City neighborhoods. In 1993 Suarez got the Latin Builder's Association to donate $150,000 to rebuild the only Catholic elementary school in Overtown. He decided not to run again in 1993 in order to spend more time with his family. He returned to practice law in Miami before he decided to run again in November 1997 and was re-elected.

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  • United States of America
  • Villanova University
  • Harvard University

on July 23, 2013


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