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Tue, 12.30.1919

Theodore Lumpkin born

Theodore Lumpkin

*Theodore Lumpkin was born on this date in 1919.  He was a Black mathematician, social worker and military officer. 

Theodore "Ted" Lumpkin Jr. was born in Los Angeles and was educated at Jefferson High School. He attended Los Angeles City College from 1938 to 1940, graduating with an associate degree in mathematics and continued his studies at University of California Los Angeles. 

The Second World War had started, but the USA was formally neutral until the end of 1941.  Lumpkin was drafted in 1942. After basic training, he completed officer cadet school. He was made a second lieutenant and assigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron based at Tuskegee Airmen in Alabama.  Due to his eyesight, he became an air combat intelligence officer and briefed pilots before missions. He served in Italy in 1944 and was based at the Ramitelli Air Base as part of the 332nd Fighter Group. Lumpkin left active service in January 1946 with the rank of captain.  

After the war, he graduated in sociology from the University of Southern California. He also met and married his wife Georgia. He began working as a social worker in 1947 and in 1953 took a master's degree in social work at University of Southern California. He later had his own real estate agency.  He was a member of the Air Force Reserves and retired in 1979 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was active in the post-war military association of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. as a national board member and also was president of the Los Angeles chapter.

Lumpkin was a board member of the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation.  Lumpkin was one of the surviving Tuskegee airmen who attended by invitation the inauguration of US President Obama in 2009.  Theodore Lumpkin died December 26, 2020 of complications caused by covid-19 at the age of 100.  

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