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Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis

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Information about Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis

Profile image of Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Colonel
Federal Government Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Blue Bell Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
There Are These Three: Faith, Hope And Love, And The Greatest Of These Is Love.

Birthplace

Born:
8/25/1943
Birth Location:
Greenville, Alabama

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Colonel
Federal Government Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Blue Bell Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
There Are These Three: Faith, Hope And Love, And The Greatest Of These Is Love.

Birthplace

Born:
8/25/1943
Birth Location:
Greenville
See how Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Colonel and federal government appointee Roosevelt Joseph Lewis, Jr. was born on August 25, 1943, in Greenville, Alabama to Clara Nell Mitchell Lewis and Roosevelt Joseph Lewis, Sr. Lewis and his family moved to Toulminville, Alabama when he was four years old; and he graduated as valedictorian from Heart of Mary High School in 1960. In 1964, Lewis received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Tuskegee University (formerly the Tuskegee Institute) in Tuskegee, Alabama. He earned his M.A. degree in transportation and business management from the University of Alabama in Tuscalossa, Alabama.

While attending Tuskegee University, Lewis enrolled in the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and met aviation pioneer Alfred “Chief” Anderson, who was the chief flight instructor and mentor to the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. By 1968, Lewis gained recognition for his superior performance in the ROTC and was elected "Best Major in Command" by his unit in 1968, 1969, 1982 and 1988.

Lewis served the United States government's Department of Defense in five Pentagon positions, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As the chief of Vehicle Programs, he purchased the $3.4 billion vehicle fleet for the U.S. Air Force and managed a $34.8 billion budget as Executive Officer of the Logistics Engineering branch, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

Lewis was a presidential scholar at the University of Alabama and served as a congressional intern with the Public Works & Transportation Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives. Lewis has also taught transportation courses for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Maryland. In addition, he was previously former secretary of the Alabama Aeronautics Commission.

Since his retirement in 1991, Lewis has focused his efforts on aviation training for new pilots and has guided over 300 of them in obtaining their licenses. Lewis also serves as chairman and CEO of Air Tuskegee Ltd. and Global One Jets. He also owns historic Moton Field, where most of the Tuskegee Airmen, including his mentor, “Chief” Anderson, learned how to fly.
Roosevelt Joseph Lewis Jr., was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 6, 2007.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his maternal family history, pt.1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his maternal family history, pt.2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his great-grandmother Lula Lewis
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his two maternal grandfathers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis shares memories of his maternal grandparents and annual family reunions in Greenville, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls her mother's generosity in his childhood neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his mother's childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his maternal ancestry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his father's childhood in Greenville, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his father, Roosevelt Lewis, Sr., pt.1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his father, Roosevelt Lewis, Sr., pt.2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's career at the International Paper Company
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's death and his respect for his parents
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's training as a medic in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes how his paternal great-grandmother, Lula Lewis, lost her land
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls his experience of growing up on a farm
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about how his parents met and their courtship
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his parents' move to Mobile, Alabama where his father worked at the International Paper Company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his family's move back to Mobile, Alabama after his father returned from military service
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his siblings, pt.1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his siblings, pt.2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his family's first home in Toulminville, at that time a suburb of Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers watching his neighbor, Hank Aaron, play broom ball
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood neighborhood in Toulminville, a suburb of Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his childhood experience of segregation in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes the stores and schools in Toulminville, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers learning to play tennis
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his elementary school years at Toulminville Elementary School, originally a Rosenwald one-room schoolhouse
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's work and education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his family's conversion to Catholicism and his Catholic schooling
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his experience at Heart of Mary High School in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls winning scholarships that enabled him to go to college
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers a tragic fire in his childhood home
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes the aftermath of a tragic fire in his childhood home
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his first days at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his first flight with C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his experience at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his early years in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers being attacked by the Ku Klux Klan in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes another incident with the Ku Klux Klan, and why he did not participate in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers getting shot at while working for TISEP, The Tuskegee Institute Summer Education Program
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about why he chose a behind-the-scenes role during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about being stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his decision to go to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his wife and his daughter
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson, who introduced him to many Tuskegee Airmen
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his involvement with the East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. while interning in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about the influence of the Tuskegee Airmen on him and his "P's of Success"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about the importance of the Tuskegee Airmen's story and his role in telling it
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his early career and his two-year tour at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina while working for the Pentagon
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about working at the Pentagon and his time with the U.S. Air Force in the Philippines
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls his promotion to the rank of colonel
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes how the Tuskegee Airmen influenced him in his U.S. Air Force career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his responsibilities in the Philippines as a U.S. Air Force Colonel, and in Operation Earnest Will
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his decision to return to Tuskegee University to save Moton Field and to teach air science
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his aviation students at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his goals at Tuskegee University and the establishment of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about the importance of a flight training program at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls outstanding students that he has trained
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis reflects upon the influence of his parents and C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson on his life
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis shares his advice for youth
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis narrates his photographs