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Charles Holton

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Information about Charles Holton

Profile image of Charles Holton

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Service Administrator
Basketball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Door County, Wisconsin
Favorite Quote:
Be Good To Yourself.

Birthplace

Born:
9/3/1930
Birth Location:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Service Administrator
Basketball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Door County, Wisconsin
Favorite Quote:
Be Good To Yourself.

Birthplace

Born:
9/3/1930
Birth Location:
Milwaukee
See how Charles Holton is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Former Harlem Globetrotter Charles Holton was born on September 3, 1930 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Alice and Frank Holton. Holton attended St. Benedict School in Milwaukee, where he was a good athlete and played basketball. He graduated in 1948 at the age of eighteen. Holton was the first black to graduate from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin with a B.S. in economics in 1952. Holton became a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, the then Chicago-based basketball franchise headed by legendary coach William “Pop” Gates.

Invited to tryout for the Harlem Globetrotters at Chicago’s St. Anselm’s Gym, Holton became a member of the Abe Sapperstein’s Globetrotters, the popular barnstorming Chicago-based basketball franchise. He became a Harlem Globetrotter during their glory years (between 1951 and 1957) and witnessed first hand the passing of the comic basketball star baton from Reese “Goose” Tatum to Meadowlark Lemon. Holton made the Southern Harlem Globetrotters, one of three traveling squads. His teammates included Leon Hilliard, Junior Lee, Chico Burrell and Babe Pressley. In 1954, Holton and the Globetrotters were warmly welcomed in Europe and later in South America. Holton left the team at the age of twenty-seven in 1957.

Holton began working in social services as an administrator for Milwaukee County the following year, a position he would retain until 1966. In 1967, Holton obtained his M.S.W. degree from the University of Michigan and began working for the State of Wisconsin as a social services administrator, where he would remain until 1996. In 1997, Holton became executive director of Milwaukee’s House of Peace, a Capuchin Franciscan Ministry that Holton would lead until retirement in 2000.

Holton lives with his wife, Carol S. Oakes, whom he married in 1969. His daughter is Miss Lori the public television children’s host and his uncle is Chicago police commander and award winning mystery writer, Hugh Holton.

Holton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 29, 2007.

See how Charles Holton is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Holton's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Holton lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Holton talks about his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Holton talks about his maternal grandfather's move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Holton talks about his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Holton describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Holton describes his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Holton describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Holton lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Holton describes his neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Holton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Holton describes his childhood pastimes, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Holton describes his childhood pastimes, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Holton remembers the bombing of Naval Station Pearl Harbor
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Holton remembers the St. Benedict the Moor School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls the black history curriculum at the St. Benedict the Moor School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Holton recalls his experiences at the St. Benedict the Moor School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Holton remembers his employment during high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Holton talks about his skills as a basketball player
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Holton recalls playing basketball at the St. Benedict the Moor High School, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Holton recalls playing basketball at the St. Benedict the Moor High School, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Holton talks about the changes in basketball scoring rules
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Holton talks about the development of the game of basketball
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Holton remembers playing basketball at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Holton talks about the basketball programs at Catholic universities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls his experiences at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Holton remembers Jackie Robinson's radio program
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Holton recalls the invitation to try out for the Harlem Globetrotters
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Holton describes his Harlem Globetrotters tryout
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles Holton talks about the history of the Harlem Globetrotters
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Holton talks about the Harlem Globetrotters' showmanship, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Holton talks about the Harlem Globetrotters' showmanship, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Holton describes his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Holton talks about the pensions available to African American athletes
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Holton describes his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls his experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Holton remembers his travels in the South
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Holton talks about the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Holton describes his travel experiences in Europe
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Holton talks about playing with the Harlem Globetrotters in Europe
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Holton recalls playing with the Harlem Globetrotters in South America
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Holton lists his teammates from the Harlem Globetrotters
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Holton describes his career in social work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls his work for the House of Peace in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Holton talks about his health
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Holton reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Holton describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Holton reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Holton talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Holton reflects upon his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Holton remembers Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Holton talks about the contemporary Harlem Globetrotters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Holton recalls a challenging basketball game on the East Coast
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Holton describes his daughters and granddaughter
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Holton describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Holton narrates his photographs