Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, the son of a freed black slave and a white planter, became the first African-American governor in the U.S. in 1872. Known as P.B.S. Pinchback, he achieved that high office without election. When Louisiana's lieutenant governor died, Pinchback was appointed in his place. Then the governor was impeached, and Pinchback served as the state's leader for 35 days. It would be 118 years before another black American ( Virginia's Douglas Wilder) gained a governorship.