The first African American elected to the state Senate, Herbert Arlene was born on September 5, 1917, in Harrison Georgia, the son of Elbert and Mattie King Arlene. He graduated from Philadelphia public schools; Philadelphia Business College; received an (Hon.) L.L.D. from Miller College (University); was a businessman; member of the AME Church, Urban League, Peoples Neighborhood Medical Center; board of trustees, Lincoln University; board of directors, Greater Philadelphia Development Corp.; Berean Institute; member, Hospital Authority of Philadelphia; Ward Leader, 47th Ward; executive secretary, Philadelphia Democratic County Committee; state House of Representatives, 1956-1966; state Senate, 1967-1980. He married Emma Davis of Dublin, GA. The Hon. Herbert Arlene died on November 9, 1989.