Emanuel Cleaver II (born October 26, 1944) is a United Methodist pastor and an American politician who is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Cleaver represents Missouri's 5th congressional district, elected in 2004.
Cleaver was born in Waxahachie, Texas and grew up in public housing in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Cleaver then moved to Kansas City, Missouri where he founded a branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from St. Paul School of Theology. Cleaver was the pastor at the St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri from March 1972 until June 28, 2009.
Cleaver served as Kansas City Councilman from 1979 to 1991 and as mayor of Kansas City for two terms from 1991 until 1999. He was the first African American mayor of Kansas City.
In late 2003, Karen McCarthy, who had represented Missouri's 5th congressional district since 1995, announced her retirement. Though having served in city government for 20 years, including eight years as mayor, Cleaver initially posted weak numbers in the Democratic primary and general elections. Cleaver went on to defeat former Clinton Administration official Jamie Metzl in the Democratic primary by a margin of 60-40 percent. In the general election, Republican Jeanne Patterson made the race far more competitive than conventional wisdom would suggest for the district, which has long been reckoned as the second-most Democratic district in Missouri but Cleaver ultimately triumphed by a 13-point margin. He has held the seat ever since.