Roy B. Martin, Jr.
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Location: East Center Lawn, Lot 217S Space 1
(- May, 20, 2002)
Roy B. Martin, Jr., a member of the City Council and mayor of Norfolk, helped to shape the city during his long political career.
Martin was part of the city government from the 1950s through the 1970s. During his time in office, he helped make many positive changes to Norfolk’s downtown area including the establishment of the Chrysler Museum, the MacArthur Memorial, the Scope Arena and Chrysler Hall.
A lifelong resident of Norfolk, Martin grew up in Ghent and graduated from Maury High School in 1939. He attended the Norfolk Division of William and Mary, now Old Dominion University. He later received a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Virginia.
After serving in the Navy during World War II, he returned to Norfolk and joined a food brokerage business, Foote Brothers and Co., which he would later own.
He began serving on the City Council in 1953 when Mayor W. Fred Duckworth appointed him to the council to fill a vacancy. He later became the lone councilman to oppose Duckworth by voting against closing Norfolk schools beyond the sixth grade in 1959. The closings were part of the Massive Resistance, the statewide movement to close public schools rather than allow school integration.
Martin succeeded Duckworth as mayor in 1962. During his time in office, he persuaded Walther P. Chrysler to move his art collection from Massachusetts to Norfolk. He also became good friends with General Douglas MacArthur’s widow, Jean, and served as chairman of the MacArthur Foundation for many years.
He was instrumental in obtaining federal aid to build the Scope Arena complex including Chrysler Hall. Martin was also instrumental in winning federal funding for the redevelopment of many inner-city neighborhoods.
Although he left the City Council in 1974, he remained involved in the community, serving on numerous boards and acting as a goodwill ambassador for the city.
Hansen, Louis, The Virginian-Pilot, “Norfolk Leader Dies, “Bricks and mortar” mayor of 1960s and ‘70s a victim of cancer,” May 21, 2002, pgs. A-1, A-7.
Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries. Profile written by Michael Frost, Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation volunteer.
Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Office hours: Monday to Sunday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Free parking inside cemetery.
Admission Cost: Free
Address: 8100 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505
Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov/cemeteries
Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org