Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. Biography

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U.S. Army general soldier, born on July 1, 1877, in Washington, D.C. Benjamin Oliver Davis became the first African American general in the United States Army. Davis attended Howard University. He began his military career as a volunteer during the Spanish-American War in 1898. He was promoted to first lieutenant on March 30, 1905; to captain on December 24, 1915; to major (temporary) on August 5, 1917; and to lieutenant colonel (temporary) on May 1, 1918. He reverted to his permanent rank of captain on October 14, 1919, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel on July 1, 1920; to colonel on February 18, 1930; In 1930, Davis became the first black colonel. he rose up the ranks, becoming a brigadier general in 1940. He was retired on July 31, 1941, and recalled to active duty with the rank of brigadier general the following day. spent much of his time teaching others as a professor of military science and tactics at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. assistant to the Inspector General. adviser on African American issues in Europe Many black soldiers were upset by the discrimination they encountered from white soldiers and by their exclusion from combat duty. Leaving the military in 1948, Davis had spent fifty years serving his country. His son, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., became America's first black lieutenant general. In 1998, the 85‐year‐old retired general was awarded a fourth star by President Bill Clinton.President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Davis a brigadier general, the army's first black general. he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, French Croix de Guerre, Africa Star, and the Distinguished Service Medal. Davis died of leukemia on November 26, 1970. Twice married, he had three children. His son, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., followed his father's footsteps, also becoming a general in the U.S.

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