Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman Biography
Winning 60 percent of the vote, Carolyn G. Goodman became the mayor of the city of Las Vegas on July 6, 2011. Her husband of 50 years and then current mayor, Oscar B. Goodman, administered the oath of office. It is the only known instance of a spouse succeeding a spouse as mayor in the United States. Oscar Goodman was term limited after 12 years of service.
Carolyn and her husband as relative newlyweds moved to Las Vegas from Philadelphia in 1964 arriving in August with only $87 left in their collective pockets shortly after Oscar successfully completed the Pennsylvania bar examination. Initially, Oscar worked for the District Attorney’s office while Carolyn worked in the hotel industry and thereafter in West Las Vegas for the Department of Labor. Thereafter, while her husband traveled the country building what became an outstanding criminal law career winning high-profile cases, Carolyn raised their four children simultaneously earning a master’s degree in counseling at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Carolyn is well known in the Las Vegas community for founding The Meadows School in 1984, Nevada’s first nonprofit, college preparatory school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grades. Carolyn planned and oversaw the entire day-to-day operations, helped create and orchestrated the curriculum development; supervised the budget, was responsible for hiring administration, faculty and staff; and managed the entire physical campus development endeavors for the organization. During this time, Carolyn never had ownership of the school as it was incorporated as a 501[c] entity. Furthermore, during her 26 years in leadership, Carolyn never took a salary. She resigned in June 2010.
Recognized nationally by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the National Association of Independent Schools in 2006 with the Seymour Preston Trustee Award for Leadership, Carolyn has devoted much of her life to volunteerism in the Las Vegas and more specifically to education. In 1989, the University of Nevada recognized Carolyn with the prestigious “Distinguished Nevadan” award and in 2006 bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree (PhD). In 2009, nominated by members of her school, she became a Sarah D. Barder Fellow in The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth and an Alumna of the Year in Education at UNLV.
Carolyn has served the people of Las Vegas by volunteerism and therein in leadership in many community nonprofit boards, charities and service organizations. She has proven her deep commitment to the community and continues to be devoted to the highest quality of life for all southern Nevadans by her efforts and dedication.
Her children have gone on to be extremely successful, each of whom went on to graduate schools out-of-state and each of whom has now returned to live in Las Vegas and raise their own families (six grandchildren to date). The eldest son, Oscar Jr., is a physician specializing in prostate cancer and oncology research who also has earned a doctorate in molecular pharmacology and structural biology. The other two sons, Ross and Eric, are both attorneys. Ross is a retired Major in the U. S. Marine Corps and serves in private legal practice in Las Vegas. Eric is a third generation alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and is currently a Las Vegas Justice of the Peace. Daughter Cara began working in human resources consulting and information technology after completing her undergraduate and graduate studies at Stanford University in Human Resources. She completed a second master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling.
Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman Biography