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Robert Jr. Johnson

astrophysicist, was born in Ore City, Texas. His father, Luther McAfee, was a Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) minister and graduate of Texas College. His mother, Susie (Johnson) McAfee, taught at the Wiley College Normal School, which Walter would attend years later. The family of nine children stayed in the rural community of Upshure County for about three months after Walter's birth before moving to Marshall, Texas.

Walter McAfee graduated with honors from high school and counted his chemistry and physics teacher Freeman Prince Hodge among his earliest influences. In 1930 he received a scholarship to Wiley College, where Charles Anthony McCain (who later taught at Howard University) would be his professor for general physics and sophomore mechanics. It was McCain whom McAfee credited with advising him to choose physics rather than engineering. In 1934, the nineteen-year-old Walter McAfee graduated magna cum laude from Wiley College.

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