A.J. Cooper III died Wednesday morning at his mother’s home at the age of 34. Cooper died some time before 9 a.m., after his mother, Brenda Rhodes Miller, attempted to perform CPR. He experienced chest pains and dizziness at that time.
Cooper announced last month that he would run for the Ward 4 D.C. Council seat to be vacated by Muriel Bowser in January.
He was also engaged to be married to a Miss Ryan Palmer, which he announced last week over Thanksgiving on his campaign Facebook page.
Cooper graduated from the University of Maryland, enlisted in the Marine Corps and also graduated from the Officer Candidate School.
Through high school and university, Cooper hosted Black Entertainment Television’s “Teen Summit” program. He was twice featured in Teen People Magazine in articles on “20 Teens Who Will Change the World.” Cooper was given the key to the city of Birmingham, Alabama for service to the community and received multiple NAACP Image Awards.
Cooper unsuccessfully sought a D.C. Council at-large seat in 2012. In 1972, Cooper’s father, Algernon Johnson Cooper was elected mayor of Pritchard, Alabama, making him the first black mayor elected in a majority-white city in that state, according to the Washington Post.
Cooper’s aunt, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, is a philanthropist and arts advocate, and former president of the D.C. Board of Education.
Cooper was recently involved in the urban farming initiative Freedom Farms, which aims to employ and grow food for low-income city residents. He helped organize a demonstration Monday outside the Justice department headquarters in D.C. to protest recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.
Cooper attended a protest the night before his death.
The DC Spotlight Newspaper interview Cooper in 2012, during his run for D.C. Council-At Large. Read the article HERE >>> https://dcspotlight.com/features/metro-link/metro-link-a-j-cooper-an-uphill-to-dc-city-council-at-large/