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Capt. Avis T. Bailey

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Information about Capt. Avis T. Bailey

Profile image of Capt. Avis T. Bailey

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Captain

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Corn
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Don't Stick Your Nose In Other People's Business.

Birthplace

Born:
5/19/1949
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Captain

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Corn
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Don't Stick Your Nose In Other People's Business.

Birthplace

Born:
5/19/1949
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Capt. Avis T. Bailey is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Nonprofit chief executive, captain and ship pilot Avis T. Bailey was born on May 19, 1949, in Washington, D.C. to Roosevelt and Dorothy Bailey. He was raised by his mother after his parents separated when he was four years old. The youngest of eight children, Bailey was a precocious child, who learned American history through self-guided tours of Washington, D.C.’s monuments and museums. As a student at Banneker Junior High School in Washington, D.C., Bailey was selected from a citywide pool to participate in the First Scholastic Honors Program. His participation in the program continued until his graduation from Cardozo Senior High School in 1967.

Bailey was one of seven students selected from 450 applicants to compete for a military academy scholarship. Despite early dreams of becoming an astronaut, Bailey won a scholarship to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. The Merchant Marine Academy was Bailey’s first introduction to integrated education. One of only four African Americans in a student body of 1,000, he was often the object of racist jokes and harassment. As a midshipman at the Academy, Bailey visited more than twenty-three countries and ports of call and studied three foreign languages. In 1972, Bailey earned his B.S. degree in nautical science, becoming the twentieth African American to graduate from the Merchant Marine Academy.

Upon graduation, Sun Oil Company (now SUNOCO) hired Bailey as third mate, making him the company's first African American officer. In 1979, Bailey earned his pilot’s license with the Association of Maryland Pilots and became the first African American in the nation to receive a state-issued pilot’s license. As a ship pilot, Bailey traveled thousands of miles up and down the Chesapeake Bay. He became known by colleagues as “the singing pilot,” who would belt out Johnny Mathis tunes from the helm.

In 2004, Bailey founded the Captain Avis T. Bailey Mariner’s Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to mentor inner-city youth and to educate them about maritime careers. Bailey married Tamara Allenette Durant, a former flight attendant, in 2000. He has three sons, Christopher, Jason and Jarrett Bailey, and two stepsons, Luke and Shannon Durant. Bailey retired from the Association of Maryland Pilots in 2006 after a career that spanned thirty-four years.

Captain Avis T. Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 28, 2007.

See how Capt. Avis T. Bailey is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Capt. Avis T. Bailey's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls the gangs in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes Walker-Jones Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his father's departure from the household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls visiting historic landmarks in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his early experiences as a student
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes segregation in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his early influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his commitment to education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers the summer program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his activities at Francis L. Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers Principal Bennetta Bullock Washington
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his experiences at the United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his history professor at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his English professor at the United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his first year at the United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about the U.S. Merchant Marine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls the riots of 1968 in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his return to the United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers traveling abroad with the U.S. Merchant Marine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey reflects upon his experiences abroad
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the countries he visited with the U.S. Merchant Marine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls the initiation process at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his graduation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers protesting the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls working for Sun Transport Incorporated
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers meeting his first wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to become a ship pilot, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to become a ship pilot, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his role models
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his experiences in Venezuela
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the role of women in the U.S. Merchant Marine, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the role of women in the U.S. Merchant Marine, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his political beliefs during the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his experiences as a junior ship pilot
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his rapport with foreign ship captains
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his community in Reisterstown, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his return to Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his experiences as a ship pilot during the 1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his musical interests
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his love of music
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Captain Avis T. Bailey talks about his second wife
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the Captain Avis T. Bailey Mariners Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Captain Avis T. Bailey talks about the importance of education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his organizational memberships
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey narrates his photographs