Anyone meeting Martha Wood for the first time would probably notice that she’s petite, with silver hair cut in a pixie style, and a pair of unflinching blue eyes. Few people would guess that Wood once held one of the most influential positions in Winston-Salem; for eight years she was the City’s first, and so far, only female Mayor.

Born in Fayetteville, N.C., Wood graduated from Wake Forest University, where she first became interested in politics. In fact, it was her college debate coach, Franklin Shirley, who urged her to run for City Council, where she served for eight years, before successfully running for Mayor in 1989.

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