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Lenon Lathan

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Information about Lenon Lathan

Profile image of Lenon Lathan

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Montford Pointe Marine

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Beef, Pork, Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Good gosh.

Birthplace

Born:
7/19/1926
Birth Location:
Sturgis, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Montford Pointe Marine

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Beef, Pork, Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Good gosh.

Birthplace

Born:
7/19/1926
Birth Location:
Sturgis
See how Lenon Lathan is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Montford Point Marine Lenon Lathan was born on July 19, 1926 in Sturgis, Mississippi. He was the tenth oldest twin of three sets of twins and fifteen other siblings born of Oscar Lathan and Mary Frazier. Lathan grew up in Sturgis and attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in Mobile, Alabama where he played baseball and basketball as a young man. Lathan later enrolled in continuing education classes and studied Spanish at the City Colleges of Chicago. He is also a graduate of Washburn Trade School in Chicago where he later worked as a union pipefitter.

Lathan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in Starkville, Mississippi in September of 1944 and as a private at DHIRS, Jackson, Mississippi. He trained at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina with the 43rd Marine Depot Company for one year and then was promoted to private first class (PFC) with the 25th Marching Depot Company. Lathan deployed to the Pacific Theater during World War II on board the USS DOROTHEA. He served under Second Lieutenant Kenneth I. Tuttle at Guam, Marianas Islands. In addition, he served aboard the USS GENERAL W.C. MITCHELL at Guam, Marianas Island. Lathan received an Honorable Discharge in 1948. In 1987, he retired from Local Union #597 Chicago Pipe Fitters and became an entrepreneur opening a bar and lounge on 12th Street & Wabash Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

Lathan is a member of Grant Memorial A.M.E. Church, and has traveled to forty-eight of the fifty states and has visited five continents. As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, the “Honor Flight Chicago” selected him to join other veterans on a trip to Washington, D.C. to see the WWII Memorial built in their honor.

Lathan was married to Mildred Barron for nearly fifty years before her passing in 1996. They had nine children, two of which preceded their mother in death. Together with his wife, Lathan raised his children in Chicago’s Lincoln Park area; and all seven children either graduated from private high schools or universities. He also has twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Lathan passed away on January 27, 2018.

Montford Point Marine Lenon Lathan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2013.

See how Lenon Lathan is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lenon Lathan's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lenon Lathan lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lenon Lathan describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lenon Lathan describes his visits to his maternal grandparents' home
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lenon Lathan describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lenon Lathan talks about his parents' marriage and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lenon Lathan describes his childhood home and his family's farm
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lenon Lathan describes his childhood neighborhood in Sturgis, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lenon Lathan talks about his relationship with his mother, and what he learned from his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lenon Lathan talks about attending school in Sturgis, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lenon Lathan talks about going to church at Liberty Hill Methodist Church in Sturgis, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lenon Lathan talks about his school teachers at Liberty Hill Methodist Church in Sturgis, Mississippi, and his experience in elementary school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lenon Lathan talks about attending school on the Gulf Coast and in Mobile, Alabama, and joining the military
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lenon Lathan talks about his relationship with his older brother, John Lathan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lenon Lathan describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Lenon Lathan describes the dynamics between his twin siblings, and between him and his twin brother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lenon Lathan talks about his older sister, Ceola Lathan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lenon Lathan talks about the racial climate in the town of Sturgis, Mississippi, and his unpleasant experience at one of the town's stores
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lenon Lathan talks about the nesting habits of chickens and turkey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lenon Lathan talks about his family's traditions, and playing at home with his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lenon Lathan talks about his childhood desire to visit big cities in the U.S.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lenon Lathan talks about experiencing segregation as a child in Sturgis, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lenon Lathan describes his experience in high school in Waveland, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lenon Lathan talks about Waveland, Mississippi, and his school trips to New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lenon Lathan talks about his involvement in sports and drama in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lenon Lathan talks about attending high school in Mobile, Alabama and working at a welding shipyard
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lenon Lathan talks about being drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Lenon Lathan describes his initial experience in the U.S. Marines
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lenon Lathan talks about African American Marines at Montford Point, North Carolina in the early 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lenon Lathan describes his experience at boot camp with the U.S. Marines at Montford Point, North Carolina in the early 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lenon Lathan describes his training at boot camp with the U.S. Marines at Montford Point, North Carolina in the early 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lenon Lathan talks about meeting his wife and getting married
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lenon Lathan talks about his U.S. Marine Corps advanced training in San Diego, California, and his assignment to Guam
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lenon Lathan describes his assignment with the 54th Marine Battalion in Guam, and his thoughts on war
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lenon Lathan talks about leaving the U.S. Marines, working at a steel mill, and his fellow platoon members
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lenon Lathan talks about his children
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lenon Lathan talks about working at Campbell's Soup, and going to pipefitting school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lenon Lathan talks about his life and employment after leaving the U.S. Marines in 1948
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lenon Lathan talks about his experience at Montford Point, North Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lenon Lathan talks about his experience at Montford Point, North Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lenon Lathan talks about experiencing discrimination at Montford Point, North Carolina, and training with dynamite bombs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lenon Lathan talks about becoming a licensed pipefitter in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lenon Lathan talks about buying a home in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lenon Lathan talks about the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy, and his thoughts about the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lenon Lathan describes his family's life in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lenon Lathan describes his children's schooling in Chicago, Illinois, and his insistence on sending them to private schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lenon Lathan talks about his children's employment
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lenon Lathan talks about his travels after his retirement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lenon Lathan talks about receiving the Gold Congressional Medal of Honor as a Montford Point Marine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lenon Lathan talks about running a cocktail lounge for six years
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lenon Lathan reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lenon Lathan talks about living at the Cabrini-Green public housing project in Chicago, Illinois, in the 1950s and buying a home on the North Side
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lenon Lathan shares his message to today's youth
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lenon Lathan describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, and reflects upon the election of President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lenon Lathan shares how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lenon Lathan describes his photographs