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Michael L. Krenn

boxer, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Little is known of Foster's life before he began boxing. Foster himself admitted that he got into numerous fights as a child and a high school student and was once taken to court for fracturing the skull of another young man with one punch. With few options open to him and a close scrape with the law motivating him, Foster signed up for the U.S. Air Force in 1957, shortly after graduating from high school.

Foster's tremendous punching power soon became evident to his air force commanders during informal inter- and intra-unit boxing matches, and they put him on the service's boxing team. For four years Foster traveled with the team all over the United States and the world. He engaged in well over one hundred fights, losing only three. In 1960 he won the light heavyweight title at the ...

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Blake Wintory

photographer, politician, sheriff, assayer, barber, and lawyer, was born a slave in Carroll County, Kentucky. William Hines Furbush became a member of the Arkansas General Assembly as well as the first sheriff of Lee County, Arkansas. His Arkansas political career began in the Republican Party at the close of Reconstruction and ended in the Democratic Party just as political disfranchisement began.

Little is known about Furbush's early life, though his literacy suggests a formal childhood education. Around 1860 he operated a photography studio in Delaware, Ohio. In March 1862 he traveled to Union-controlled Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas, on Kate Adams and continued to work as a photographer. In Franklin County, Ohio, that December he married Susan Dickey. A few years later, in February 1865 he joined the Forty second Colored Infantry at Columbus Ohio He received an honorable discharge at the ...

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Jason Philip Miller

athlete, was born Wilmeth Webb in Washington, DC, the son of Elias, a pharmacist, and Pauline Miner. In 1925 Elias died of stroke, and Pauline subsequently remarried. Her new husband was Samuel Sidat-Singh, a medical doctor of West Indian descent. He adopted Wilmeth and moved the family to Harlem, New York, where Wilmeth was raised and attended school. Even as a young man, Wilmeth showed great promise as an athlete. By the time he was attending high school at New York's DeWitt Clinton, he was a basketball star. In 1934 he led his team to a New York Public High School Athletic League championship. He was offered a basketball scholarship to Syracuse University, to which he matriculated in 1935. He was also recruited by the school's football coach, and soon he was playing on the gridiron as well as the hardwood.

College sports at the ...

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Lane Demas

football player and actor. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), from 1937 to 1939 Washington was the most celebrated college football player on the West Coast. He was also one of two African Americans to integrate the National Football League (NFL) in 1946.

Kenneth S. Washington was born in Los Angeles and played football at Abraham Lincoln High School. From 1937 to 1939 he played tailback at UCLA and rushed for 1,914 yards. In 1939 he led the team to its best season ever and a top-ten national ranking. At a time when prominent teams even outside the South were still unwilling to accept any black athletes, Washington played with four other African American students, including Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson and Woody Strode.

Washington and his black teammates achieved immense popularity on the West Coast and earned national recognition Los Angeles citizens overwhelmingly supported the ...

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Steven P. Gietschier

football player, was born Kenneth Stanley Washington in Los Angeles, California, the son of Edgar Washington, an actor; his mother's name is unknown. He played football at Los Angeles Lincoln High School and was considered by some the best high school football player ever to play in Southern California. In one game against Garfield High School, he made headlines for throwing a sixty-yard touchdown pass.

Washington attended the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), intending to play football and baseball. He played baseball in the spring of 1937, hitting .454, and made the varsity football team in the fall of his sophomore year. The Bruins, coached by William H. Spaulding compiled a lackluster 2 6 1 record but Washington a tailback in UCLA s single wing offense emerged from the season as the first great African American athlete on the West Coast In the second ...