BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The former three-term mayor of Bloomington Jesse Smart has died at 84 as confirmed by a Calvert and Metzler Memorial Home notice.

The McLean County Museum of History confirms Smart was born in 1939 on a farm in Pike County. He attended the University of Illinois and also taught agriculture and biology at then-Stanford High School.

Jesse Smart was mayor during Bloomington’s era of growth in the 1980s when Diamond Star Motors located its plant in Bloomington in 1988.

In addition, Smart served seven years on the city council before running for mayor “because more Christian people need to get involved,” he told the McLean County Museum of History in 2017.

Smart was active in the “Not In Our Town” grassroots organization in 1995, focusing on eliminating racism and bullying as well as promoting inclusivity.

He was in opposition to gay rights provisions during his time in the council and mayor’s office.

As a businessman, he worked for Funk Seeds for 24 years before founding his own seed company in 1989.

From 2001 to 2015, he served on the Illinois State Board of Elections and remained active in community organizations including the local Alzheimer’s Association.