Dr. Johnny DuPree entered public service in 1987, when he was appointed to the Hattiesburg Public School Board where he served as secretary and president.
In 1991, he was elected to the Forrest County Board of Supervisors where he served for 10 years before running for mayor of Hattiesburg in 2001. He served as mayor of Hattiesburg from 2001 to 2017. DuPree was the first African-American to be elected as mayor and his tenure was the longest of any other mayor in the city. As mayor of the fourth largest city in the state, DuPree developed and managed an annual city budget of $150 million and also managed approximately 700 city employees. DuPree implemented ground breaking policies and programs that have enhanced the Pine Belt area and abroad, and garnered more than $40 million of federal and state funding for housing and infrastructure development. While in office, DuPree’s initiatives helped increase financial literacy, expand access to healthcare and insurance, improve reading and comprehension among Hattiesburg children, provide leadership opportunities for Hattiesburg youth, and develop strong environmental and sustainability policies in the city. DuPree also managed recovery and revitalization efforts in the city during four major natural disasters.
DuPree was the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Mississippi in 2011.
DuPree’s nomination marked the first time an African-American represented a major party as a candidate for Governor of Mississippi since the Reconstruction era.
DuPree has served on a number of national and local boards, including the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, the Mississippi Municipal League, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Committee, Local Government Advisory Committee and the Small Community Advisory.
DuPree is a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and he is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. DuPree currently teaches a social welfare policy and analysis course at the University of Southern Mississippi, and owns and operates three businesses: Johnny DuPree Realty, Johnny DuPree Consulting, LLC, and DuPree Transportation, Inc. DuPree is a proud graduate of Jones Junior College, the University of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State University where he received his Doctorate in urban studies.
DuPree has been married to Johniece for 46 years. He and Johniece have two daughters, Dr. April DuPree (Coustaur) Taylor and Dr. Monica DuPree. They are the proud grandparents of two boys, Chandler and Chesney.