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Simpson, Abram Lyon
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1956
Simpson, born in Louisville, KY, was a chemistry professor at Morris Brown College prior to WWI, where he unsuccesfully attempted to organize a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 1914. He was later president of Allen University in South Carolina (serving 1932-1937) and was acting president of Bethune-Cookman College [now Bethune-Cookman University] from 1937-1939. He also served as supervisor and counselor in the United States Employment Services (U.S.E.S.) in Washington, D.C. Simpson composed the Alpha Phi Alpha National Hymn. A veteran of World War I, he was the youngest African American Army captain at the age of 23. He is thought to be one of the characters in and the inspiration behind his friend Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.'s poem "On the fields of France." Simpson graduated from Wilberforce University (in 1914) and the University of Chicago. He was the son of James Edward and Lida Simpson, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family of five lived on West Broadway. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1950; Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance, 1920-1940, by J. V. Hatch and L. Hamalian; and Complete History of the Colored Soldiers in the World War: authentic story of the Greatest War..., Bennett and Churchill, 1919 [full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Employment Services, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Columbia, South Carolina / Daytona Beach, Florida / Washington, DC / Chicago, Illinois / Wilberforce, Ohio