Retired Major General Harry W. Brooks, Jr.
was born May 17
in Indianapolis, Indiana
As a student, he attended P.S. 42, P.S. 87 and Crispus Attucks High School, graduating in 1947 as an officer in the ROTC
. Joining the United States Army
as a private, Brooks soon rose to sergeant
and used the provisions of the G.I. Bill to attend college. Noticed primarily because of his baseball prowess, he was invited to Officer Candidates School (OCS) and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1949. Brooks went on to obtain his B.A. Degree from the University of Nebraska
in 1962 and an M.A. Degree from the University of Oklahoma
in 1973. He also completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Executive Program.
Becoming an Officer during the U.S. Army's desegregation efforts, Brooks served in Japan with a logistics command in support of Korea, in Germany as an artillery officer and a tour in Viet Nam. His subordinate Officers included Colin Powell, with General Brooks (Ret) being the first African American General that Powell served under. While attending the United States War College from 1969 to 1970, he co-authored The Gathering Storm: An Analysis of Racial Instability Within the Army. Appointed Army Director of Equal Opportunity Programs at the Pentagon in 1972, Brooks was promoted to Major General in 1974 as the sixth (6th) African American General in United States history. As the Commanding General of the famed 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, General Brooks was responsible for 16,000 men and remembered for ordering 10,000 of them to return to school for High School and Associate Degrees.
Decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, two (2) Legion of Merit Medals, two (2) Bronze Star Medals, and seven (7) Air Medals, in addition to a number of Decorations from Foreign Governments. Awards from NAACP and Kiwanis have recognized General Brooks (Ret) volunteer activities.
After retirement in 1976, General Brooks (Ret) became Executive Vice President of Amfac, Inc. He then founded (with some of his friends) Advanced Consumer Marketing Corporation, which was heralded as the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Enterprise of the Year in 1989 and the Black Enterprise Company of the Year in 1990. General Brooks (Ret) has served, and continues to serve, on numerous Boards and Government Commissions over the years, including serving for more than twenty (20) years with The Freedom Forum, Arlington, VA. Brooks is currently Chairman of Brooks International, Brooks Enterprises Llc. and Swiftships Limited [Cyprus] and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.