Olivia Hooker, first black woman in US Coast Guard, dies at 103

In this May 10, 2005, file photo survivor of the 1921 Tulsa race riots, Dr. Olivia Hooker, 90, gives her personal account of the of the historic race riot at a briefing before members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Caption
In this May 10, 2005, file photo survivor of the 1921 Tulsa race riots, Dr. Olivia Hooker, 90, gives her personal account of the of the historic race riot at a briefing before members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

People are remembering Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, the first black woman in U.S. Coast Guard and the last known survivor of the Tulsa Race Riot, who died Wednesday at the age of 103.

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According to a U.S. Coast Guard blog, Hooker was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1915. She was 6 years old when the Klu Klux Klan burned her father's clothing store in the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots. Hooker and her siblings hid in their home while it was ransacked by rioters.

Hooker earned a bachelor's degree in education before becoming the first African-American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard SPARs in 1945. She served until the SPARs were disbanded in mid-1946.

Hooker then earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychology. She became a psychologist, professor and member of the Kennedy Child Study Center in the Bronx before retiring in 2002, at the age of 87, according to the blog.

Throughout her life, Hooker had been a leader in civic, cultural and educational organizations, Fox23.com reported.

In July, Hooker was interviewed for a five-part series called "Greenwood Avenue," which is sponsored by Google, Fox23.com reported.

ExploreREAD: Details: 'Greenwood Avenue' film
ExploreRelated story: 97 years: Looking back at the Tulsa Race Riot

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