Mazola McKerson was born in Bluff, Oklahoma in 1920. She moved to Ardmore in 1929, where she has been ever since.
In 1946, McKerson began a catering company out of her home. She operated The Gourmet Restaurant in Ardmore from 1962 to 1997.
McKerson was elected to the Ardmore City Commission in 1977, making her the first African-American as well as the first female to serve on the City Council. In 1979 she became the first African-American female mayor of Ardmore, as well as the first African-American female in the United States to serve as mayor of a city of more than 30,000 people.
McKerson served as president of the Ladies of Action Club and was the first chairperson of the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She represented Ardmore on the Oklahoma Municipal League Board. In 1997 she was inducted in the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame and in 1984 she was named Woman of the Year at the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City.
She is married to Alfred McKerson; they have four children, 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
(Bio current as of 2008)