The Monroe County Legislature voted to rename the Greater Rochester International Airport to the Frederick Douglass—Greater Rochester International Airport in honor of one of our city’s most notable residents, Frederick Douglass. 

Douglass—abolitionists, orator, and publisher— called Rochester, NY home from 1847 to 1872, and lived here longer than anywhere else in his life. In Rochester he published his newspapers, The North Star and Frederick Douglass’ Paper, assisted friends in Underground Railroad activities, hosted runaway slaves in his home, gave speeches, supported women’s suffrage alongside Susan B. Anthony, and more. Visitors can also pay respects to Douglass as he was laid to rest in Rochester’s historic Mount Hope Cemetery. 

Legislators Vincent R. Felder and Karla M. Boyce released the following statement on the decision:

“We are proud that this landmark legislation passed with such overwhelming support. Honoring Frederick Douglass, one of Monroe County’s most influential residents, in renaming the Airport is something that our community can take great pride in. While taking this action to change the Airport’s name to the ‘Frederick Douglass – Greater Rochester International Airport’ is something that has been discussed over the years, we feel fortunate to have been a part of this historic action.”

“Each time residents and visitors arrive to our airport, they will be reminded of Douglass’s life and legacy of fighting oppression. Our remembrance through the Airport renaming serves as recognition of our past and a promise of the work our community will do to make Monroe County a welcoming place for all.”

Learn more about the legacy of Frederick Douglass in Rochester here

Frederick Douglass Mt. Hope Cemetery