Mayor Oscar B. Goodman Biography
Term: 2003 - 2007
The 19th mayor of the city of Las Vegas, Oscar B. Goodman was re-elected for a second four-year term in April 2003. His trademark no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is style helped him capture 86 percent of the vote during his re-election efforts.
Mayor Goodman has been a champion of downtown revitalization, focusing his efforts on creating a downtown urban village filled with small businesses, boutiques, fine restaurants, bookstores and an art component where the public can have social dialogue and exchange ideas. “Like it or not, downtown is the core of our city, the heart and soul of southern Nevada, and without a healthy inner core, the city will rot from the inside out,” Goodman has stated.
During his first term, Goodman was successful in acquiring a 61-acre parcel in downtown Las Vegas without having to use eminent domain. In addition, the mayor played an integral part in getting the first Class A office building built in the downtown area in more than 20 years and he worked to acquire the historic downtown post office, which will be used for a downtown cultural center. Goodman has also led efforts to develop both an Arts District and an Entertainment District.
The self-proclaimed “happiest mayor in the world,” Goodman was born and raised in Philadelphia, graduating from Haverford College and receiving his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has become one of the city’s premier criminal defense attorneys, having been named one of the “15 Best Trial Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal. He has also been featured in numerous publications such as Of Rats and Men and even portrayed himself in the movie Casino. Mayor Goodman also serves on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Goodman and his wife of 42 years, Carolyn, moved to Las Vegas in 1964 with $87 in their pockets. The couple raised four children in Las Vegas, with three of the four now calling Las Vegas their home. All were educated in Las Vegas and went on to acquire college and graduate level degrees. “When Carolyn and I came here, Las Vegas was truly a land of opportunity,” the mayor says. “You could establish a career, make something for yourself and enjoy a great quality of life. I want to make sure that never changes.”