Joe Doran, South Bend politician, community leader dies at 96

Nov 30, 2017

Joe Doran died Wednesday. Doran was a politician and community leader in South Bend and St. Joseph County.


Joe Doran grew up in South Bend and graduated from Central High School then went to serve in World War II. When he returned he became the Assistant Chief of the South Bend Fire Department.

He retired from the fire department after 22 years, then went into politics. He served at the County Democratic Chair, the County Clerk and Treasurer for St. Joseph County.

Joe Doran spoke to WVPE’s Tom Labuzienski in 2015 as part of our South Bend Stories series. At the time he reflected on the differences in politics he’s seen over the years.

“The secret was, we would work together. I remember Judge Means was the republican county chairman, I was the democratic county chairman. We’d fight like hell on election day, 10 days after, we’d be back on the phone.”

Doran died in South Bend, he was 96. In the full recording of his South Bend stories Doran talks about fires, politics, JFK and the KKK.