Sultan Ahmad was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania on January 6, 1948 to Emmet Smith and
Etta Neal. He was one of five children. He was raised in South Philadelphia and North
Philadelphia. Sultan attended Philadelphia public schools, Robert Vaux elementary school and he
graduated from Edison High School. After high school, Sultan headed West to attend the
University of California, Berkley campus.
It was during this same time frame that the Black Panthers caught his attention. He joined the
Black Panther Party, (BPP) in North Philadelphia in 1969 where he served as the Captain of the
Chapter before leaving to serve in Oakland, California, where he managed the historic campaign
of Bobby Seales in his bid to become the first Black Mayor of Oakland. Sultan was instrumental
in the founding of the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party, (NAABPP), in
2011, which was charted in Philadelphia. Sultan served as the 2 nd President of that body for two
terms. He played an integral role in administering programs at the Wharton Center located at
22nd and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
From a very young age, Sultan realized he had a divine given skill to communicate with people.
He knew how to organize and galvanize people and how to improve their lives through education
and the spirit of entrepreneurialism. In his early years this talent took him into the “street hustle”
of survival, selling produce, women clothing and other small marketable items needed to live in
the neighborhoods of North Philadelphia. Given his access to the community, it was only a short
period of time before he would be thrust into the political fabric of the city. These achievements
led him to a vibrant career in community engagement and services.
For twenty-four years he worked as a public servant for the City of Philadelphia. He was heavily
involved with public policy and worked with government and community leaders to enhance the
growth of the City of Philadelphia. Mr. Ahmad, served as the Executive Director of the Mayor’s
Office of Community Services(MOCS), the Community Action Agency for the City and County
of Philadelphia, where he administered a staff of 225 with a $9 million dollar budget to help fight
the “War on Poverty”. His leadership was pivotal in initiating and significantly expanding the
Foster Grandparents Program, the Partner in Self-Sufficiency Program-working with single
female heads of households, the Self Help Initiative Program working - with homeless men and
the Youth Leadership Forum.
Mr. Ahmad was the First Deputy Executive Director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority. He
oversaw a multi-million dollar operation, managing on average the parking of 17,000-vehicles
daily. Sultan provided Public Affairs-Review information that was given to multimedia
representatives, citizens, businesses, organizations, national parking agencies and elected
officials. This led to his appointment as acting Executive Director of The Parking Authority
where his role was expanded to include the function as the executive officer on behalf of the
Board of Directors, and the administration of the Authority’s $50 million budget this included all
financial operations, technological improvements and Y2K implementation of 446 full-time
Sultan Ahmad demonstrated commitment in promoting a quality of life for all citizens that made
him the recipient of over fifty awards, among them are the Selective Service System Certificate
of Appreciation, the House of Representatives Citation, the W. C. Longstreth School Positive
Role Model Award, and the Governor’s Award. He attended the White House Conference on
Youth Violence & Received President Clinton’s Anti-Youth Violence Appreciation Letter, the
Korean American Community Service Award and the Philadelphia Urban League Father of the
Year Award, to name a few. Although retired from City government, Mr. Ahmad remained very
active on several Boards and community groups - Board Member Universal Charter School,
Member of the Victims Services Advisory Committee and a number of community based
organizations, up until his health would not allow him to do that anymore.
Sultan is the co-founder of the Sultan Jihad Ahmad Foundation with his wife of 43 years, the
love of his life, Harriett Ahmad. They started the foundation after the murder of their son Sultan
(Sudee) Jihad Ahmad April 20, 1992. That nonprofit has been credited with helping to save the
lives of hundreds of youth who were beneficiaries of the many programs the foundation offered
over the last 20 years.
Anyone who knew Brother Sultan as many people affectionately called him, knew that he loved
the Philadelphia Eagles, he loved boxing and he also had a talk radio program on WURD. More
than anything, he loved his family and spending time with them, enjoying family vacations and
taking the time to smell the roses.
Prior to marriage, Sultan had three children; Yolanda Small, Erica Small and Tyrese Wiggins.
Together Sultan and Harriett had Sultan Jihad, Qimmah Safiyyah and Samir Jameel. Shafeeq
Jihad Ahmad his number one soldier.s His surviving siblings are Marlene Martin, Jinaki Ahmed,
Denise Davis, & Alice Veal. Sister In-law Sydney Simpson & Brother In-laws Russell Simpson
& Malik Muhammed. He has two nephews Eric & Sharifu Martin and one niece Aziza Ahmed.
He also has dozens of grandchildren, Keith, Shidera, Cherise, Hadiyah, Shinise, Tikeyah, Basil,
Jalon, Jawanda, Alaji, Dahfir, Rafiyyah, Samir & Samira Ahmad, Kadir, Indira, Nylah, Khylie,
Amiyah, Zariyah. His brother Louis Neal and Sybella Neal preceded Sultan in death, as did both
With Allah’s name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer
Qur’an Chapter 26 verses 87-90
“And let me not be in disgrace on the day when (men) will be raised up
The day whereon neither wealth or nor sons will avail
But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart
To the righteous, the Garden will be brought near “
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