John Cranley

John Cranley
69th Mayor of Cincinnati
Assumed office
December 1, 2013 (2013-12-01)
Preceded by Mark Mallory
Member of the Cincinnati City Council
In office
Personal details
Born John Joseph Cranley
(1974-02-28) February 28, 1974
Green Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dena; 1 child

John Joseph Cranley (born February 28, 1974) is the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. A member of the Democratic Party, he was a member of the Cincinnati city council and a partner of City Lights Development. Cranley is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School and co-founder of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Before his election as mayor, he was an attorney with the law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp.


Cranley was born in Green Township to John Joseph "Jay" Cranley (born 1946) and his wife, Susan (born 1947). His father is a life estate planner and Vietnam veteran who served in the United States Army, and his mother a former teacher and librarian. Cranley was raised in the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati.[1] He attended St. William's Primary School and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1992. He graduated from John Carroll University magna cum laude in Philosophy and Political Science and served twice as student body president. He earned his JD (juris doctorate) from Harvard Law School and a Master of Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School. He taught two undergraduate legal and philosophy courses at Harvard College while attending graduate school. During his second and third years at Harvard Law School, he worked as a student attorney for people who could not afford legal counsel. In his third year of law school, he was elected First Class Marshal and delivered the Harvard Law School graduation speech on behalf of his class.

Cincinnati City Council

Cranley served on city council from 2000-09.[2] In 2003, he led the push to create Tax Increment Finance districts in Cincinnati.[3] Cranley served on the following committees: Arts, Culture, Tourism & Marketing; Economic Development; Law and Public Safety; and the Transportation & Infrastructure sub-committee. Cranley resigned from City Council in 2009 after seeking advice from the Ohio Ethics Commission.[4]

Incline District Development

Cranley worked to restore the historic Incline District of East Price Hill. He developed a $5 million project which consists of condominiums and a restaurant.[5]

Ohio Innocence Project

Cranley co-founded the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and served as administrative director from 2002-2006. The Project has thus far exonerated seventeen wrongly convicted individuals.[6] Cranley's argument before Ohio's 5th Appellate District Court led to the reversal of Christopher Lee Bennett's conviction of aggravated vehicular homicide. Bennett had served four years of a nine-year sentence before the Project was able to use DNA to help overturn his conviction.[7]

Political campaigns

In 2000 and 2006, Cranley lost in Ohio's 1st congressional district race to incumbent Steve Chabot, with 45% of the vote in 2000, and 48% of the vote in 2006.

Cranley won the September 2013 primary election for mayor of Cincinnati, defeating Roxanne Qualls in the November 2013 mayoral election.[8][9] He was sworn in on December 1, 2013.

Additional Service

Mayor Cranley serves on the boards of the Freestore Foodbank, Mercy Hospital Foundation, and the Jesuit Spiritual Center.[10] Cranley was named a 2014 Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow.[11]


Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Mallory
Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio
Succeeded by
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