Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.
7/1/1877 - 11/26/1970
Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. was the first African American promoted to the rank of General in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1940, a significant achievement within the segregated military of his day.
In July of 1889 he joined the racially segregated 8th U.S. Volunteer Infantry service for the Spanish-American War and was appointed temporary First Lieutenant. In 1905, General Davis was appointed to his first tenure as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Wilberforce University where he became well known in the area. Over time and assignments, he spent almost 25 years there. General Davis, Sr. retired from the U.S. Armed Forces in 1948 with over 50 years of service. He passed away on November 26, 1970 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.