2013 The Root 100

Steve Benjamin is a successful African-American mayor of a vibrant Southern city.

  • Influence: 172.7
  • Reach: 11.09
  • Substance: 7.2
  • Media Mentions: 127
  • Internet Mentions: 105000
  • Twitter Followers: 9237
  • Steve Benjamin

  • Mayor of Columbia, S.C.
  • Job: Politician, lawyer
  • Sector: Government/Politics
  • Twitter: @SteveBenjaminSC
  • Location: Columbia, S.C.
  • Age: 43
  • Bio: Since taking office three years ago as the first African-American mayor of the 227-year-old city of Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin has been able to effectively focus on economic development, bringing more than $1 billion in capital investment and job creation to South Carolina's capital. One of Benjamin's most innovative programs has been the Southern Fried Fuel initiative, which has recycled nearly 400 gallons of used cooking oil. The married father of two is running for a second term this fall and is pressing for "strong-mayor" legislation, which would give him parity with mayors of other large cities. "Columbia has grown to the point that we need a mayor with modern executive authority," says Benjamin. Visit his website and like his Facebook page.