Harry C. Thompson

Leader of a cadre of African Americans who organized the Booker T. Washington Center in 1923, Harry C. Thompson served as the Center’s first president.  Mr. Thompson served as a steward on Great Lakes vessels, including the Nyanza and the USS Michigan/Wolverine.  His maritime career included a stint aboard President Theodore Roosevelt’s yacht, the Mayflower, where he attended to the president as a much-trusted personal aide.  Upon his retirement after 30 years with the U.S. Navy, Thompson became a stockholder and ticket taker at the local Columbia Theatre. 

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