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Alfred Brothers, Jr.

Engineer and airplane pilot Alfred Brothers was born on December 14, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts to Alfred S. Brothers, Senior and Edith Irene Yates. His father served as a combat engineer in the black 366th Infantry Regiment during World War II while his mother stayed home to care for the family. Brothers graduated from Boston Latin School in 1960 and enrolled in Boston University's College of Engineering. While at Boston University, Brothers became a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps. After graduating in 1964 with a B.S. degree in engineering and the rank of second lieutenant, Brothers joined the United States Air Force, where he served for the next twenty-two years. Brothers began his Air Force career flying B-52 planes in the Vietnam War and became one of the youngest aircraft commanders in the strategic air command.

In 1972, Brothers used his engineering education and served in the foreign technology division of the Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Brothers was then assigned as a detachment commander to a new ROTC program at Wright State University in Dayton. Brothers focused on encouraging the development of African American engineering students and pilot candidates. During his tenure, the graduation and commission rates for students in the Air Force ROTC increased by 90%. After retiring from the Air Force in 1986, Brothers moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to work as an engineer for Magnavox, now the Raytheon Company. Brothers was promoted from engineer to program manager where he was responsible for the technical direction and management of a program. He was in charge of attaining financial and schedule goals for particular government programs. Always interested in continuing his education, Brothers obtained his Ph.D. degree in business administration at age sixty from Century University.

In addition to his professional activities, Brothers was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and became president of the Boy Scouts Council, the first African American to be council president. The council involved eleven counties and about 14,000 kids and 4,000 adults. Brothers sat on numerous boards including the board of the African/African American Museum and Historical Society in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Alfred S. Brothers, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 30, 2002.

Accession Number




Interview Date


Last Name



Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 Inclusion School

Boston Latin School

Boston University

Century University

Search Occupation Category
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Favorite Season



National Science Foundation



Favorite Quote

Nothing Is impossible.

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Speakers Bureau Region City

Fort Wayne



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Short Description

Engineer and airplane pilot Alfred Brothers, Jr. (1942 - ) was an officer in the United States Air Force for twenty-two years, serving as a pilot and wing commander in the Air Force ROTC, before working as an engineer program manager for Magnavox.


United States Air Force

United States Air Force Communications Satellite Group

United States Air Force Ballistic Missile Facility Branch

Wright State University

Magnavox / Raytheon Company

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Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Air Force Blue


<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Brothers' interview</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Brothers names his parents and shares his favorites</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Brothers talks about his family background</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Brothers talks about his parents' first meeting and their occupations</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Brothers talks about his childhood neighborhood in Boston</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Brothers talks about his childhood interests and high school teachers</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alfred Brothers talks about his mentors and his father's involvement in politics</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alfred Brothers talks about the artificial language, Esperanto</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alfred Brothers talks about his involvement with the Boy Scouts</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Brothers remembers staging a peaceful protest in high school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Brothers talks about sports, church and socializing during high school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Brothers talks about meeting his wife at a school party in Boston</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Brothers talks about his experience with the Air Force ROTC</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Brothers talks about his experience flying planes</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Brothers remembers his life in Ohio as an Air Force pilot</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Brothers recaps the dates of his Air Force career and talks about his retirement</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Brothers talks about his leadership position in the Boy Scouts of Indiana</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Brothers talks about his interest in genealogy and other post retirement activities</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Brothers talks about the possibility of flying cars</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Brothers discusses technology and the importance of continued schooling</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Brothers discusses the need to promote science in the black community</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Brothers reflects on his career and talks about his legacy</a>