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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

4/17/2007

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

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/16/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

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.