What’s in a name? Russell Lee Park a testament to political leader’s legacy

russell-lee-parkBy Walter Munday
Outreach Manager
E-mail Walter 

Russell Lee Park in west Louisville is the home of the Southwick Community Center and is situated near the Villages of Park DuValle neighborhood. But, who was Russell Lee?

Russell P. Lee was a local elected official, veteran, and a probation officer who was active in working with the youth throughout Louisville.

He was first elected to the Board of Alderman in 1960-61.  He was a veteran of World War II, and a Jefferson County Probation Officer.

According to the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia.

Russell P. Lee


Alderman Lee joined Louise Reynolds as the first African-Americans ever elected to the city’s Board of Alderman. Lee served the 8th Ward.

He was a native of Elizabethtown, Ky.  In addition to politics, Lee was a real estate manager, a former supervisor for the National Youth Administration, an advertising representative for the Louisville Defender.

Lee died of cancer at Louisville’s General Hospital in 1965 at the age of 57 while serving in his second term as a Louisville Alderman.

Three years following his death, a park at 35th & Southern Avenue was named in his honor.             


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