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Capt. Samuel Saxton

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Information about Capt. Samuel Saxton

Profile image of Capt. Samuel Saxton

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Captain

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Cruises
Favorite Quote:
Always Faithful. Always Ready.

Birthplace

Born:
8/5/1929
Birth Location:
Asheville, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Captain

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Cruises
Favorite Quote:
Always Faithful. Always Ready.

Birthplace

Born:
8/5/1929
Birth Location:
Asheville
See how Capt. Samuel Saxton is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Captain Samuel Farlee Saxton was born on August 5, 1929 in Asheville, North Carolina to Mary Patterson and Thomas Odell. Although his father left the family, his mother, a former teacher, worked as a domestic to raise Saxton and his four younger siblings. He attended and dropped out of Stevens High School in Asheville during ninth grade in order to work full time. In 1944, he told the World War II draft board that he was eighteen when he was actually sixteen so that he could join the U.S. Navy. Saxton trained as a steward, one of the few Navy jobs open to African Americans, but served as a gunner during intense battles, including the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines in 1944 and at Iwo Jima, Japan in 1945.

At the end of World War II, Saxton left the Navy and earned his high school diploma. In 1946, he joined the U.S. Marines, training at Montford Point, a segregated facility for African Americans at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. Rising through the ranks to become a commissioned officer, Saxton served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In addition to defending U.S. bases in Korea and Vietnam, he managed military prisons in Da Nang, Vietnam and at Camp Pendleton, California. After a serious car accident in 1975, Saxton retired from the Marine Corps and went on to earn his B.S. degree in criminal justice and his M.A. degree in rehabilitative counseling from the University of Maryland.

In 1975, Saxton joined the Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Maryland as a deputy director and was later appointed as the director of the department. Renowned as an innovative corrections administrator, Saxton was recruited to be the director of corrections for Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1983. During his tenure, he created several programs to improve inmates’ living conditions and to facilitate their reintegration into society. His comprehensive drug treatment program, The Awakening, gained national attention and earned a visit from President Bill Clinton in 1994. Retiring from Prince George’s County in 2000, Saxton taught courses in criminal justice at Prince George’s Community College until 2004. Throughout his career, Saxton received numerous honors for instituting prison reforms, including the American Correctional Association's E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award and the 1986 Austin MacCormick Award from the Correctional Education Association.

Saxton passed away on February 14, 2018.

Captain Samuel Saxton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 9, 2006.

See how Capt. Samuel Saxton is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Capt. Samuel Saxton's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the origin of his family name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his mother's childhood in North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his neighborhood in Asheville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls briefly living in Philadelphia as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls childhood activities in Asheville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his grade school experiences in Asheville
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls lying about his age to join the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls continuing his education after his enlistment
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton remembers enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about the integration of the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton remembers the integration of the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls serving as a U.S. Marine in the Korean War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the military police during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls his U.S. military service in the mid-1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton remembers his marriage to Sylvia Truslow Saxton
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his assignments in the Vietnam War, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his assignments in the Vietnam War, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls serving at Camp Pendleton after the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls serving at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls commanding the Motor Transport Maintenance Company in Okinawa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about how he became a civilian corrections officer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls becoming the director of Prince George's County Detention Center
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his initiatives at Prince George's County Detention Center
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his political opponents in Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his awards for his work in corrections
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about his techniques as a corrections officer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about his retirement from correctional work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the Montford Point Marine Association, Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes how he would like to be remembered