Frank Ervin Melton (March 19, 1949 – May 7, 2009) was the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, United States, from 4 July 2005 until his death on 7 May 2009. Melton, an African American, defeated the city's first black mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. Melton won 63 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary against Johnson, who had served two terms. Melton quickly swept into action to rid Jackson of drug-related crime, improve economic development, and improve city infrastructure. Since Melton became mayor, he touted economic-development projects totaling over $1.6 billion, creating at least 4,500 jobs in the city. Others pointed out that many of those projects were in the works when he started in office. However he was embroiled in several controversies while being mayor, including questionable power breaches and criminal misdemeanor activity.
Melton was born in Houston, Texas on March 19, 1949, to his parents Herbert Melton and Marguerite Haynes-Melton, both of whom were active members of the University Presbyterian Church in Houston. Prior to graduation from high school and following in the grid-iron footsteps of one of his earlier Booker T. Washington Eagles quarterback idols, Eldridge Dickey (Tennessee State Univ., Oakland Raiders), Frank was a popular, studious, and disciplined Quarterback for the Eagles. Melton graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. He moved to Nacogdoches, Texas to earn a BA at Stephen F. Austin State University. In college, he took a position with the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, serving as Director of Recreation at its Lufkin State School.
He entered broadcasting after graduation, first as a Sports Anchor for KTRE TV in Lufkin, Texas and then, in 1977, as general manager of KLTV TV. He climbed the ranks at KLTV TV before becoming president of Buford Television, Inc. In 1984, he became Chairman and CEO of WLBT TV Inc, in Jackson, Mississippi, in which position he remained until 2002.
Melton served as the head of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics for 14 months, appointed by former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove in December 2002. Governor Haley Barbour, who defeated Musgrove in the 2003 gubernatorial election, dismissed Melton and other holdover political appointees when he took office. Melton also served in numerous other fields, including serving as the director of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Task Force, after being appointed by former Governor Kirk Fordice.
Melton served on the national board of directors for the Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), the Liberty Broadcasting Board of Directors, and the NBC Affiliates Board of Directors. He served on the Liberty Broadcasting board of directors; the Wave board of directors, the Community Broadcast Group, and the NBC Affiliates board of directors.