October 28, 2009
Today, Howard University Alumnus Edward Brooke III, the first African American popularly elected to the U.S. Senate in American history, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the body's highest honor.
President Barack Obama bestowed the medal to Senator Brooke and lauded him as a political pioneer who broke racial barriers and bridged divides to move "the arc of history."
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire University community, I would like to express our profound congratulations to Senator Brooke (B.S. ’41), an accomplished son of Howard.Brooke grew up in Ledroit Park; he attended Dunbar High school and graduated from Howard University in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. Brooke later served in the Army and pursued a law degree.
He was the first African American in Massachusetts history to win statewide elected office, first as attorney general and later as a U.S. senator. He served in the Senate from 1967 to 1979.
During his 2007 visit to campus as part of the launch of his autobiography Bridging the Divide: My Life he said, “My debt to Howard is enormous. Howard gave me inspiration that I could get from nowhere else." The senator's speech, focused on life growing up in a segregated society, changes to date, and the struggles this great nation must continue to overcome to achieve full equality.
Again, congratulations to Senator Brooke for a lifetime commitment to service to our nation.
Sidney A. Ribeau
|© Howard University, all rights reserved.
2400 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059