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Tue, 12.30.1919

Theodore Lumpkin, Military Officer 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 the 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, Tuskegee Airmen, based 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 the University of Southern California. 

He later had his real estate agency.  He was a member of the Air Force Reserves and retired in 1979 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was president of the Los Angeles chapter and was active in the post-war military association of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. as a national board member.

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

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