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Celes King III
*Celes King III was born on this date in 1923. He was a Black administrator, pilot, and activist.
From Chicago, Illinois, as a child, he developed a love of flying, while playing with wooden airplanes. He would ride his bike to the runway of the Chicago Municipal airport to watch the planes take off and land for hours. He came to Los Angeles with his parents in 1938 after his family purchased the "Dunbar" hotel in LA.
There, he met his future wife, Anita Lugo Givens, and in 1942 they were married; they had four children. During WWII he enlisted in the military service and became a pilot in the "Tuskegee Airman Squadron" After completing his military service in 1951 he returned to Los Angeles and founded King Bail Bond Agency with his father. In 1989, King founded Core-CA. Dedicated supporters brought some key qualifications to the job of State Chairman of CORE California. During this time King had become a General in the California National Guard, as well as the first Black in California to become a General bonding Agent.
He served several terms as President of the National and State Associations of Bail Bond Agents. King had also gained a valuable set of experience tools as a longtime President of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP. In that capacity, he had been able to nurture future talented leaders such as the young Maxine Waters, Yvonne Burke, and a host of others. King served as President of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission and in that capacity created the first “Rumor Control Operation and other innovations after the 1965 Watts riot. CORE-CA frequently joined with NAACP, Urban League, and other Civil Rights and Civil Liberties-oriented organizations in press conferences and mobilizations.
King served as confidante and advisor to Governors, Mayors, Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, and other California elected officials and served as State Chairman of California CORE dealing with individual cases, media campaigns, and pivotal actions such as the 1990 and 2000 redistricting of the state and Federal Legislatures. He has mentored countless numbers of young people and many of these by now have risen to roles of prominence while retaining a sense of service In April 2003 Celes King III passed away. He was 79 years old.