In Memoriam

Thomas David Parham Jr. (1920-2007)

Thomas David Parham Jr. was best known for becoming the first African American to achieve the rank of captain in the U.S. Navy. But after retiring from the Navy in 1982, Parham joined the sociology faculty at Norfolk State University.

Parham, an ordained minister of the United Presbyterian Church, enlisted in the Navy in 1944 as a chaplain. He achieved the rank of captain in 1966.

Parham died late last month at the age of 87.

Edythe Meaux Smith (1917-2007)

Edythe Meaux Smith, an educator, journalist, and civil rights activist, died last month at a hospital in St. Louis from heart failure. She was 89 years old.

In 1938 Smith was the first African American to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California. There she majored in journalism and psychology.

Smith wrote for the Pittsburgh Courier and later taught at Harris-Stowe State College, the historically black educational institution in St. Louis.