Mr. Ali Abdullah won election as Braddock's first African American mayor in the 1990s.
Mr. Abdullah's successful bid for mayor in 1993 was the first of three in succession for the family. When he found the pressures of serving as mayor and continuing his full-time job at USX's Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock to be too consuming, he declined to run for re-election. His wife, Pauline Abdullah, succeeded him by winning two terms as mayor from 1998 to 2006.
As Mayor from 1994 to 1998 Mr. Abdullah, a lifelong Braddock resident, was known for his proactive work when it came to demolition of abandoned buildings in Braddock. Former Mayor Mr. Abdullah showed dedication to youth recreation and job training programs and other activities aimed at giving juveniles alternatives to crime. Mr. Abdullah worked closely with the police department, which was his primary responsibility as mayor. Mr. Abdullah was known as a doer and not just one who uttered words.
Mr. Abdullah had served as borough auditor during the 1970s. He also worked as a supervisor at Union Carbide plants in Duquesne and Monessen before serving as production technician at Edgar Thomson from 1987 until his retirement in 2002.
The Air Force veteran was a 1958 graduate of Braddock High School, where he starred in baseball and competed in basketball, football, and track. Mr. Abdullah was raised Muslim and was a longtime attendee of Al-Mumin Mosque in East Liberty, where he was an elder.