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James W. Riddlesperger

disability advocate and cabinet secretary, was born in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in Chicago. He attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and Roosevelt College in Chicago. He graduated from Chicago City College and subsequently enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963, serving in the Vietnam War. There he was seriously wounded when an enemy bullet shattered his right arm while he was on patrol in Da Nang, leaving him partially paralyzed. In a real sense, that injury defined the rest of Brown's career.

Upon leaving the Marine Corps in 1966 Brown joined the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), an advocacy group supporting the cause of veterans injured while in military service. The organization had been founded in 1920 and given a congressional charter in 1932 and was the official voice of America s service connected disabled veterans representing all of America s disabled veterans their families and ...

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Trevor Hall

was a ship owner and discoverer, colonizer, and governor of the Portuguese Cape Verde Islands off the Guinea coast (now known as Senegal). Born into a prominent family of cartographers in Genoa, de Noli played an important role in the fifteenth-century slave trade when he sailed to West Africa and transported Africans to Portugal as slaves. There is no information about his marriage; however, he had a daughter, the Portuguese noblewoman Branca de Aguiar. She inherited his Cape Verde governorship in 1497, when she married the Portuguese nobleman Jorge Correa de Sousa. Other relatives were his younger brother Bartholomeu and nephew Raphael de Noli, who like Antonio were ship captains.

Just before 1460 the three de Noli captains sailed their ships from the Mediterranean to Portugal where Prince Henry the Navigator hired Antonio to deliver horses to West Africa The Christian Prince Henry had formed a military alliance ...

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George Baca

anthropologist, was born Council Samuel Taylor in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Walter Knight Taylor and Odelle Grace Robinson Taylor. “Count,” as his intimates called him, was dynamic, tall, a stylish dresser, and a great storyteller, using his deep voice for dramatic effect. Colleagues, students, and teachers remembered him adorned with a French beret, ascot, and an ornate walking stick.

Taylor passed as a white man during the 1940s. From 1942 to 1946 he served in the marines—well before President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the U S Armed Forces where he saw combat duty with the Air Delivery Squadron and Aviation Supply during World War II A most striking feature of his biography is that as a gay black man Taylor served as a platoon sergeant in aviation supply in several locations in the South Pacific and near China during the war ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

was born in Fresno, California, the son of Idel McGee Williams. His father’s name is unrecorded. Randy Lavelle Williams played football and competed in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes, 4 × 110-yard relay, long jump, and triple jump at Edison High School in Fresno. At the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships, he finished third in the long jump in 1969, second in 1970, and first in 1971. At the 1971 Golden West Invitational, Williams won the long jump in 25 feet 2½ inches (7.68 meters) and finished third in the triple jump at 49 feet 8½ inches (15.15 meters).

After graduating from Edison in 1971 Williams accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles As a member of the track team he won the long jump at the Pacific Athletic Conference PAC 10 Championships the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA Championships ...

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Wallace D. Best

pastor, community activist, and author, was born in the racially mixed Germantown section of Philadelphia to Jeremiah Alvesta Wright Sr. and Dr. Mary Elizabeth Henderson Wright. Wright Sr. served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown from 1938 until his retirement in 1980. Dr. Mary Wright was a schoolteacher and the first vice principal at Germantown High and Girls Schools. Both parents profoundly influenced their son, instilling in him values that shaped his intellectual pursuits, spiritual life, and political activism.

Wright attended historic Central High School in Philadelphia, graduating in 1959. Central was an all-boys school and 90 percent white at the time of his attendance. Founded in 1838 the school had established a tradition of excellence in education and fellow classmates considered Wright a model student among the 211th graduating class Following in his father s footsteps Wright enrolled in Virginia ...