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Capt. Winston Scott

NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Winston E. Scott was born on August 6, 1950 in Miami, Florida to Alston J. and Rubye L. Scott. He graduated from Coral Gables High School in 1968, received his B.A. degree in music from Florida State University in 1972 and his M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering with avionics from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Scott entered Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1973 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1974. As an aviator, Scott piloted the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18 Hornet, and the A-7 Corsair. In 1988, Scott was assigned as deputy director and test pilot in the Tactical Aircraft Systems Department at the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Scott has logged over 6,000 hours of total flight time in more than 20 different aircraft and more than two-hundred shipboard landings.

In 1992, Scott was selected by NASA for astronaut training. He later served as a mission specialist on STS-72 Endeavour during its nine day mission from January 11, 1996 to July 20, 1996. Scott conducted one spacewalk to demonstrate and evaluate techniques later used in the assembly of the International Space Station. Scott returned to space on STS-87 Columbia during its sixteen day mission from November 19, 1997 to December 5, 1997 where he performed two spacewalks, including one that lasted over seven hours and involved the manual capture of a Spartan satellite. On the second spacewalk, Scott tested tools and procedures for future space station assembly. In 1999, Scott retired from NASA and the U.S. Navy to become Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Dean of the Florida State University College of Engineering. In 2003, Scott became the executive director of the Florida Space Authority (FSA), an organization responsible for the development of space-related business in the State of Florida. The FSA also advised the state’s governor and legislature on matters related to space and aeronautics in the state. In 2006, Scott became Vice President and Deputy General Manager on the engineering and science contract at Johnson Space Center for Jacobs Engineering in Houston, Texas. Scott’s book, Reflections from Earth Orbit (2005), is a semi-autobiographical account of his experiences as a NASA astronaut.

Scott is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the National Naval Officers Association, the Naval Helicopter Association, the Naval Tailhook Association, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 1998, U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine named Scott “U. S. Black Engineer of the Year.” Scott also received the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Achievement Award and two NASA Space Flight Medals. His military honors include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. Scott was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Florida Atlantic University and an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering degree from Michigan State University.

NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Winston E. Scott was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.138

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/6/2013

Last Name

Scott

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Coral Gables High School

Florida State University

Naval Postgraduate School

Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Winston

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

SCO07

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

8/6/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Melbourne

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Astronaut and aircraft commander Capt. Winston Scott (1950 - ) served as a mission specialist on STS-72 in 1996 and STS-87 in 1997, and has logged a total of twenty-four days, fourteen hours and thirty-four minutes in space, including three spacewalks totaling nineteen hours and twenty-six minutes. As a naval aviator Scott accumulated more than 6,000 hours of flight time in more than 20 different aircraft.

Employment

United States Navy

Naval Aviation Depot

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Florida State University

Florida Space Authority

Jacobs Engineering

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Winston Scott's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Winston Scott lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Winston Scott talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Winston Scott talks about his father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Winston Scott describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Winston Scott talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Winston Scott talks about growing up in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes segregation in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Winston Scott describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes knowing current events as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes learning about the space program

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes building things as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes his father's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Winston Scott describes being involved in Boy Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Winston Scott talks about playing trumpet in junior high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about his family's involvement in church

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Winston Scott talks about the integration of his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes being involved in music during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes being accepted into Florida State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes his time at Florida State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes his time at the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about his Navy training

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his career as a Navy pilot

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Winston Scott talks about African American astronauts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes being selected to become an astronaut

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes training for his first space flight

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Winston Scott talks about his first spaceflight

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes launching into space

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Winston Scott describes the view of earth from space

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his space missions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes being in space on the Endeavor Space Shuttle

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes a space shuttles' reentry into the atmosphere

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes his space walks

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Winston Scott describes correcting a satellite's attitude by hand

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about the psychological screening of astronauts

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Winston Scott reflects on his career as an astronaut

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Winston Scott describes the food astronauts eat

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes the physical consequences of being in space

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Winston Scott describes becoming a professor at Florida State University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Winston Scott describes being the director of the Florida Space Authority

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Winston Scott talks about his memoir, 'Reflections from Earth's Orbit'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Winston Scott talks about opportunities in the space program

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Winston Scott describes his position at the Florida Institute of Technology

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Winston Scott reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Winston Scott describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Winston Scott reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Winston Scott talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Winston Scott talks about the Florida Institute of Technology

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Winston Scott talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Winston Scott talks about his father's occupations
Winston Scott talks about his first spaceflight
Transcript
So farming was the occupation-$$That's right.$$--up until the time that your--and your father [Alston James Scott] continued the, the tradition--(simultaneous).$$Well, my father grew up on the farm and then went off to a--he was drafted during World War II. He left Quitman [Georgia] and went to serve in the Army, he served two years. He was in the European theater in Germany and once his enlistment in the Army was up, he, of course, returned to the states and like a lot of people back then looked for jobs and as I understand it his sister, my aunt was living in Miami [Florida] at the time, she had gotten married and moved to Miami. She sent word to him if you come to Miami you can get work down here. He went down to Miami looking for a job and he first worked in the nursery business, you know, with a company that did landscaping and things like that but then, it's an interesting story, my father got on with the post office--he got hired with the post office down there after many trials and tribulations; that's a story in and of itself. But he became-- he and a guy named John Friar got hired that same day. They became the first two African Americans to carry mail in Miami. The jobs were segregated, blacks couldn't carry mail those jobs were reserved for whites but he was-- he and John Friar was the first two African Americans to carry mail in Miami. In fact, when he retired, thirty-seven years later he was the most senior black postman in the United States. And he was the number seven senior postman of all in the United States when he retired. I didn't know this until he retired and the mayor and the governor, everybody came and gave him all these accolades for him, they gave him all these awards and recognition with newspaper articles and I said, "Good God, I didn't know my dad did all of this". But he broke the color-- color barrier in carrying mail. Mail carrying, that's a good job, good profession.$$He had to be consistent, you know, and dependable, right?$$He had to be consistent, and dependable. Ever since the days of the pony express carrying mail and you know air mail, those were good solid jobs that anybody couldn't get. And like I say, they were segregated so I don't know if there was a union thing but they were segregated. And he was the first-- he and John Friar hired to carry mail.$$I imagine the government was compelled to bring on some black postman after awhile-- this is the kind of thing (simultaneous)--$$I don't know that and in talking to him and reading the accounts I don't think the government was compelled, I think just the, the local postmaster just needed people, just needed workers and he was of the mind that, "I don't care what color you are if you do a job, we need you." My father had stories to tell. When he first started carrying mail people were calling and complain that, "This N-word, I don't want him near my door carrying mail." And they would sic the dogs on him-- you know, they turn the dogs loose and go after him and so on. And it took him several tries to get hired because they would have him drive the trucks and Miami used little scooters. They had big trucks but they also used these motorized scooters that carry, you know, small--. The first few times people would say things like, "He didn't drive well, or he didn't handle the equipment right or he handled the equipment too rough." So finally he overcame all of that and got hired. He thought he was going to be hired temporarily just for the Christmas surge, all the extra mail during Christmas, he figured he would be fired after Christmas and that they would go to Cleveland, Ohio, I guess where they had lived before. But it turned out he wasn't fired, he stayed there and finished his career thirty-seven years later as a postman or thirty-nine years whatever it was. His total government time including Army was forty-one years but thirty-seven of that I think was with the post office.$$So, it wasn't easy being the first black--(simultaneous) (unclear).$$It wasn't easy--it's like being the first black of anything it wasn't easy at all. He had a lot of trials and tribulations, and again he never talked about this. I found out about it when he retired and they started giving him all these accolades and writing articles about him. It's kind of funny when you find out stuff like that about your parents that you never knew; you live with them and you never knew these things.$$Being a postman in those days was a, a very good job--(simultaneous) (unclear).$$Postman is a very good job, especially in the African American community. Like I said, it was a rock solid employment, you had to be dependable and you carried a certain amount of prestige. There is the government uniform, the post office was under the federal government at that time and so there wasn't very many of us doing those jobs; just like the police department, fire department. I'm old enough to remember when the first black motorcycle police officer was hired in Miami, I was a little kid but I remember it. You know, things like riding-- a motorcycle cop is a big deal; a police officer in general in those days, we don't think much of it now but we did back then. Bus driver--blacks couldn't be metro bus drivers for a long while, well you know this stuff but--.$$I'm glad you're saying it because this-- the audience that's watching this don't-- doesn't necessarily know this. Hopefully this will be around for hundreds of years.$$Hopefully it will be around for hundreds of years.$$And people will know.$$But, but those were some very good jobs and jobs that African Americans were not allowed to hold. So I remember when we had the first bus drivers in Miami and the first, well, police officers were mainly--the motorcycle squad I guess was kind of like the elite, at least they thought they were elite. So the first motorcycle cop was written up in 'The Miami Times' which was, of course, the all black newspaper there in Miami. So, those, those were some significant events for us.$Now, your first flight was on the Endeavor [Space Shuttle]?$$Endeavor, that's right. Nine days on the Endeavor.$$Is this 1996?$$In '96 [1996], that's right.$$How did things go? Did everything go perfectly?$$Everything went, everything went fine. I don't know if perfect is the right word but we had no real bad incidents happen. We got all of our mission accomplished. We had two space walks, we were, we had microgravity mission, so we grew crystals in space, plants in space, had laboratory animals in space. We deployed and retrieved the satellite, we retrieved the second satellite that was up there. We conducted two space walks where we tested tools and equipment for building the International Space Station. So we--. Every flight is jammed packed with hundreds of events and experiments and it all went real well. The space walks were particularly a big part of, of a, of any mission so those went real well too. On that flight, one of the things that I had to do that was really interesting was test out improvements to the space suit, because, again, we were preparing to build the International Space Station. It was going to be built in a location of space that was colder than we had been previously going. So NASA [National Aeronautic and Space Administration] had modified the suit and I was going to put the suit on, go outside and test those modifications to be sure to keep astronauts warm and safe in the extra cold environment of space. So that was one of the big important things that I did on my space walk. Space walk was six hours and fifty-- I think it was six hours and fifty-three minutes if I remember correctly on that one. And we did a whole bunch of other things on there also but this was one thing that was really, really important and kind of cool to do.

Col. Frederick Drew Gregory

Federal government administrator and aircraft commander Col. Frederick Drew Gregory, Sr. was born on January 7, 1941 in Washington, D.C. to Francis and Nora Gregory. The nephew of medical pioneer Dr. Charles Drew, Gregory grew up in a tight-knit family in Washington, D.C. He developed an interest in flying as a teenager and frequently attended air shows. After graduating from Anacostia High School in 1958, Gregory briefly attended Amherst College and American University before enrolling in the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He received his B.S. degree in 1964 and later obtained his M.S. degree in information systems from George Washington University in 1977.

Upon graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gregory underwent pilot training for a year before serving in Vietnam as a rescue pilot. He earned numerous military decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1967. Gregory returned to the United States, where he was assigned as a missile support helicopter pilot flying the UH-1F at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. In 1970, Gregory was selected for test pilot school before being loaned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an engineering test pilot in 1972. At the suggestion of General Benjamin Davis, the first African American general in the Air Force and a former Tuskegee Airman, Gregory applied to the astronaut training program in 1976 and was selected as one of thirty-five astronauts by NASA in 1978.

In April 1985, Gregory's first mission to space on the space shuttle Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center. He served as the lead capsule communicator during the 1986 Challenger accident in which all seven astronauts onboard were killed. In 1989, Gregory became the first African American space commander when he commanded the mission STS-33 on board the space shuttle Discovery. With the completion of his third space mission on the space shuttle Atlantis in 1991, Gregory was appointed Associate Administrator, Office of Safety and Mission Quality at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1993, Gregory retired as a colonel from the Air Force after logging more than 6,976 hours of flying time in over fifty types of aircraft and 550 combat missions in Vietnam. Gregory continued to work with NASA and in 2001 was promoted to NASA Deputy Administrator. After head Administrator Sean O’Keefe left NASA, Gregory served as Acting Administrator of NASA, the first African American to hold this position.

Gregory and his wife Barbara Archer have two adult children, Frederick and Heather.

Col. Frederick Gregory was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.215

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/27/2007

Last Name

Gregory

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Drew

Schools

Mott Elementary School

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Sousa Middle School

Anacostia High School

United States Air Force Academy

George Washington University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Frederick

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

GRE11

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

You Are Significant And You Will Contribute.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/7/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Federal government administrator and aircraft commander Col. Frederick Drew Gregory (1941 - ) was an astronaut, the first African American space commander and the first African American Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Employment

United States Air Force

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Col. Frederick Drew Gregory's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his maternal uncle, Dr. Charles R. Drew

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his maternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes the Southeast neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers U Street in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls school desegregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his aspiration to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his experiences of discrimination in the South

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his start at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about race relations at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his education at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his aspiration to become a U.S. military pilot

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his pilot training

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers serving in the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers serving in the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls returning from the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory reflects upon his U.S. military service in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his transition to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers becoming an astronaut

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory reflects upon his career as an astronaut

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls meeting the Apollo 11 astronauts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his media recognition as an astronaut

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers the Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls the aftermath of the Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his experiences of spaceflight

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers visiting Madagascar

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about researching his ancestry in Madagascar

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers commanding space shuttle missions

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes the physical sensation of spaceflight

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his retirement from NASA

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his acquaintances with U.S. presidents

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory shares a message to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his aspiration to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy
Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his experiences of spaceflight
Transcript
(Simultaneous) What year did you graduate?$$Nineteen fifty-eight [1958].$$And what were your thoughts at that time? What did you wanna do next? And who influenced you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I wanted to, oh, my dad [Francis Gregory] was my major influence, or my mentor. We'll talk about that, but he was my guide. I, in high school [Anacostia High School, Washington, D.C.], I definitely wanted to go to the Air Force Academy [United States Air Force Academy, Colorado]. The school had not really opened at that point, but during one of the air shows, while I observed the demonstration, Air Force demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, I was fascinated by them. And I talked to one of the pilots when he landed, after they landed. And I said, "How can I become a Thunderbird?" And he said, "You should go to this school they're building in Colorado called the Air Force Academy." And so I think at that point, I decided that I wanted to go there. And that would have been, let's see, the first class graduated in '59 [1959]. This was probably somewhere between '55 [1955] and '56 [1956] or '57 [1957], sometime in that time frame when the school was being built. But the class, but the school had not been occupied yet or had not been used. So I think at that point, I decided that that's where I wanted to go. And, however, there was parental influence to follow in my ancestors' foot- schools, school systems. My grandfather [James Francis Gregory] on my father's side had gone to Amherst [Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts], graduated in 1908, I'm sorry, 1898, and my uncle, Charlie Drew [Charles R. Drew]--so this is on the Drew side, had graduated from Amherst in 1926. And so I think I was the stucky [ph.], I was the (laughter) chosen person. And so I was admitted to Amherst, but it was very clear to me that that is not, that was not the place I wanted to go. And so I told my dad that, and I think he knew that. And so he, the Air Force Academy required a congressional nomination. And so he went into the halls of [U.S.] Congress, as I understand it, and approached every black congressman and asked if he would, I don't think there were any shes, but all hes, would take a chance and nominate me for the Air Force Academy. The first year, I was identified in one of the congressmen's list. We took tests--at that time, they would designate a principal nominee and alt- and then alternates. So there would be one principal and ten alternates. And this particular congressman identified a guy named Chuck Bush [Charles V. Bush], Charlie Bush, to be the principal. There were ten alternates, and I was number ten. Chuck passed and was accepted. None of the other alternates passed except for me.$You had done some research, experiments while piloting or co-piloting the Challenger?$$We had, the pilot commander had some limited role in the experimentation that was going on. I mean our principal job was to maintain the orbiter and provide the environment that the, you know, the smart guys could work in. I was one of the youngest on that flight. I was in my forties at the time, and so myself and Norm Thagard [Norman E. Thagard], who was one of the mission specialists, were the two trained to do an EVA [extravehicular activity] if there was a contingency that required it. That did not exist so I suspect I was the only pilot ever trained as a walk in space, EVA. We had shifts and so Bob Overmyer [Robert F. Overmyer] was a commander, and he kind of oversaw one shift, twelve hour shift, and I was the overseer of the other shift, as that first shift would sleep. You know, we just essentially switched back and forth.$$What was it like? I mean describe the experience, weightlessness?$$Yeah.$$What was that like? What's space like?$$Space is fantastic. When you fly, you will know that you're either a earth person or a deep space, and I think I was more of a deep space. Deep space, space to me, it's, it looks two dimensional, but it's very deep. To me, it's like black velvet with diamonds on it and somebody shining a light on, fascinating. And then you realize that the stars you see are separated by significant differences. It just takes that amount of time for the light to get to you. So some things, some light that you see may have been emitted by this star 10 million years before and it just got to you. You watch the earth and you're traveling at about seven miles a second. It takes an hour and a half to circle the earth. So your sense of distances is, is greatly changed and challenged. Your sense of neighbors changes because, you know, what do you define as a neighborhood? Probably something that's easily accessible. Well, when you fly across the Atlantic Ocean in about fifteen minutes, folks in Europe are just kind of neighbors. And well, you can't discern boundaries on the ground. So you, you know, you fly across the country, the United States, and you can't tell Iowa from Texas. I mean there's nothing there that would allow you to say, ah, that's definitely Oklahoma. But you can't tell that. The same with Africa and Europe. As you moved into Eastern Europe, you can't tell the difference. And you wonder why these folks hate each other, but you can't tell any difference. So it's my belief that all of the politicos ought to go fly before they start making arbitrary decisions about this and that, ethnicity, religion and culture and things like that. It's just not apparent from space. It was, it had such an impact on me that when I came home, what I wanted to do was go meet my neighbors.

Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg

Aircraft commander Lucius Perry Gregg, Jr. was born on January 16, 1933 in Henderson, North Carolina to Rachel and Lucius Gregg, Sr. Gregg graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1950, before receiving his B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy as the fourth African American to ever graduate. Gregg received his M.S. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1955, Gregg began his service in the United States Air Force, working as a pilot from 1956 to 1959. In 1961, Gregg became the mission commander for the VIP Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Also during this year, Gregg started working for the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research as a project director in space technology and worked there until 1965.

In 1965, Gregg became the Northwestern University Associate Dean of Science, and was also promoted to the rank of major in the U.S. Air Force. In 1969, Gregg became the Alfred P. Sloan Fund program officer, before moving to the First Chicago University Finance Corporation assuming the role of president in 1972.

In 1975, Gregg graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University Business School, and in 1979, became Vice President and Director of National Public Affairs, and Vice President of Governmental Relations at Citibank/Citicorp. In 1985, Gregg worked as Vice President of Public Affairs for the New York Daily News, before moving to Los Angeles to become the Vice President of Corporate Communications at the Hughes Aircraft Company/Hughes Electronics.

In 1999, Gregg founded the Foundation for the Study of America’s Technology Leadership in Marina Del Rey, California. The foundation seeks to understand and raise awareness of the factors that led to America’s technology leadership—from the role of innovation to the assimilation of women and minorities into the technology leadership arena.

Gregg has served on numerous technological and scientific boards including the Fermi (AEC) National Accelerator Laboratory, the Academic Board of the U.S. Naval Academy and the National Academy of Science Foundation Commission on Human Resources.

Gregg was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 17, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.143

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/17/2007 |and| 4/20/2007

Last Name

Gregg

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Occupation
Schools

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Douglas Elementary School

United States Naval Academy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard Business School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Lucius

Birth City, State, Country

Henderson

HM ID

GRE10

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Boating

Favorite Quote

Most Major Achievements Come From Those Who Can Stand On The Shoulders Of Giants And Look Forward.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/16/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab Cakes, Baby Back Ribs

Short Description

Aircraft commander Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg (1933 - ) founded the Foundation for the Study of America’s Technology Leadership in Marina Del Rey, California.

Employment

Northwestern University

Hughes Aircraft Company; Hughes Electronics Corporation

New York Daily News

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Bristol-Myers

Citibank, N.A.

U.S. Air Force

Foundation for the Study of America's Technology Leadership

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg lists his sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his mother's employment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his maternal grandparents' home in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers Douglas Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his mother's expectations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his experiences in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about the impact of migration in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the start of the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his training in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his training in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his mother's role in his admission to the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the entrance examination for the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his admission to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the black community in Annapolis, Maryland, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the black community in Annapolis, Maryland, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about Wesley A. Brown's experiences at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his experiences at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the rowing team at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his roommate at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes Jimmy Carter's support for Wesley A. Brown

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his friendship with Wesley A. Brown

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his invitation to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls joining the advisory board of the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes the changes to the United States Naval Academy's admissions policies

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers joining the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his promotion to first lieutenant

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his experiences as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his aeronautics training

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the escalation of the Cold War

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his research in aerospace engineering

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls joining the faculty of Northwestern University, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the birth of his son, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the birth of his son, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls joining the faculty of Northwestern University, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his role at the National Accelerator Lab in Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the student protests at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls Northwestern University's advancement in the college rankings

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg reflects upon his experiences at Northwestern University

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his work at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his recruitment to the First National Bank of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his career at the First National Bank of Chicago

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his integration efforts in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his university board memberships

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his role as chairman of Tulane University's Board of Visitors

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his work for Bristol-Myers

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his advisory work for the National Academy of Sciences

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about interstate banking regulations

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his public relations work for Citibank, N.A. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers meeting with journalist James F. Hoge, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the publisher's forum at the New York Daily News

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the New York Daily News' presidential debate

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes the history of the New York Daily News

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about James F. Hoge, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his recruitment by E. Pendleton James

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers joining the Hughes Electronics Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about the Hughes Electronics Corporation

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his public television board service

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his career at Hughes Electronics Corporation

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the riots of 1992 in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers writing speeches for C. Michael Alexander

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the Hughes Electronics Corporation's partnership with historically black colleges

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his wife, Doris Jefferson Gregg

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes how he met his wife, Beverly Carmichael Gregg

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his passion for boating

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about science and technology in the United States, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about science and technology in the United States, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about the opportunities for careers in science and technology

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes the Student Technology Roundtable

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his training in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 1
Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes Jimmy Carter's support for Wesley A. Brown
Transcript
And then, of course, to my surprise--well, I really wasn't that knowledgeable, but anyhow, I can just tell what happened. After I came out of boot camp, and they sent us off to cold weather training, and we're trying to show how, at the age of seventeen, we're trying to show how tough we are, that we can really cope with the challenges they were putting before us. I went through cold weather training, and then, because of my size, I got special training as--with the heavy machine gun. It was a water cooled rapid fire machine gun that would--you'd put on a tripod. And, one person had to feed the bullets in--through on a belt, and another person was behind, and you had to have a certain size in order to carry that, that kind of stuff and be able to fall on the ground and put it up and set it up within a matter of a few seconds and start opening fire. And the other thing they qualified me for was the flamethrower. And for those who can think back as to what those two things meant, I wanted to perform well, but then when I think about it ten or twenty years later, the life expectancy of a person operating the heavy machine gun--you're making so much noise that you're immediately--and you've got tracer bullets that were red hot that you used to guide and make sure that you've got it aimed to the right person or the right foxhole or house or something, or the flamethrower, which if you open it up in the middle of the night, it just basically lights up exactly where you are. The life expectancy of that person is less than a few minutes, because you're almost--you have to sacrifice yourself in order to perform, and the enemy immediately recognizes where you are and you basically tell them that, and they counter.$$Right.$$And here I was seventeen. I wasn't thinking of that, but yet that was one of the parts of the [U.S.] military.$$Where did you take this training?$$San Diego [California], and also Camp Pendleton [Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, San Diego County, California].$$Okay.$$Camp Pendleton. But then what happened was that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It sounds as if now you're having second thoughts about this whole thing.$$At seventeen, I was more interested in--I was with my buddies from Chicago [Illinois] and we were having too much fun being, being men. You know, we had just left home under the supervision of our parents. We were now out on our own, we could go and drink beer at age seventeen, eighteen years old, we could go into San Diego where the bars were, and sometimes the guys would fight with the sailors. I mean, the sailors and the Marines [U.S. Marine Corps], even though the Marines come under the [U.S.] Navy, there's always that little tension (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But you were being men there at seventeen, or almost eighteen.$$Yeah. So I can understand how seventeen, eighteen year olds get into--are tempted to do something that they would not do if they're ten years older, what have you, because you just don't--you don't think, and I think society is willing--and the courts sort of say, well how old are you at seventeen? Okay. You just don't have that depth of judgment in terms of it. But, anyhow, that, that was what I was being prepared for.$(Simultaneous) Interesting, going back to the first--Wesley Brown [Wesley A. Brown], who came out of there in 1949, what the naval historian found from talking around, talking you know twenty, thirty years later to his classmates, really almost fifty years--was that there were--some of the southerners got together--southerners who were like a year or two ahead, they could give him demerits. If you got so many demerits because your shoes weren't shined enough, or your pants weren't pressed enough, and so forth, your uniform, you reach a certain number of demerits and you're out of there, just on terms of being mili- unsatisfactory for--you know, what they would expect of a naval officer. And so those demerits could be given to you by those that are above you. And they didn't have to account (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) By you mean fellow cadets?$$Fellow cadets that were above you--seniors. So in, if you're in your first or second year, anyone who was a year ahead of you or in their senior year could actually come, they could come around to your room when you weren't there and see if your bed was--your bedding, your bed cover had to be tight enough that they could drop a quarter on it, and it would have to bounce. And if didn't they could write you up for not--. I mean, it was really being a little bit mean, because you'd have to have it in for the person that you're--. And anyone could do that to--particularly to any plebe, any freshman's room. And, evidently there was some sentiment developing within his class, now kee- I'm sorry, let me come back to this. Keep in mind that before Wesley Brown graduated, five other blacks had been admitted to the academy [United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland] over a seventy-five year period, and had never graduated, okay. And so, what appeared to be in the making was that--and these are Wesley Brown's classmates (unclear)--that the southern guys were beginning to get together to say, he doesn't belong here, and it's our duty to make sure that we get him out of here, okay, except for one guy. He was two years ahead of Wesley Brown, and his name was Jimmy Carter [James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.].$$(Laughter) And he had the courage--$$And he went to them. He went to this southern group where he knew he had heard that they allowed this kind of discussion when they put, when they got their heads together. And, the Georgia peanut farmer went there and said, "I understand what you're trying to do, and I'm going to ask you not to do it, because I know what you're up to." Which meant that Jimmy Carter was saying to them, I know what you're up to and if I go forward and report on this, then you guys will be in some kind of trouble on it. So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And as a southerner, he was really going against--that took a lot of courage.$$Yeah. And he wasn't from one of the major cities of the South, you know, they expect--out of Atlanta [Georgia] or out of Nashville [Tennessee], or what--something like that but might not have be--. No. And, and this did not come out until this historian made the rounds and got four or five of Wesley Brown's classmates, or those who were a year or two ahead of him to verify--$$Do you remember the name of this historian on that?$$Yes (laughter), Schueller [sic. Robert J. Schneller, Jr.], Schueller, because he first started out to do a complete book on the blacks who had come through the academy, and so he wanted a biographical summary from me, and I managed to get it together. But then after he got all this together, he said, "No, the first book has to be on Wesley Brown." He said, "If there's another book--there will have to be a second book, but I don't think we ought to take that life and mix it in with all those that came through ten years later or fifteen years later," or what have you.