From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Jones, William Lawless

(born: Oct. 20, 1914  -  died: July 9, 2000) 

William Lawless Jones was born on the Kentucky State University campus in Frankfort, the son of Paul W. L. Jones [a dean at the school] and Ada Anderson Jones. He was a graduate of Fisk University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Cincinnati.

Jones was one of the nine African American soldiers sent to the Fort Knox Armor Officer Candidate School [officers training] in 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant; the military had been segregated when Jones enlisted in 1941. He fought in World War II and was a captain during the Korean War, receiving the Bronze Star and becoming the only African American intelligence officer in the 45th Division. Jones received the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring from the Army in 1966.

As a civilian, Jones was a teacher for the New Jersey Job Corps, taught sociology at the University of Cincinnati, and was a columnist for the Cincinnati Herald newspaper.

Jones was also well known for his knowledge of jazz; his column "Diggin' that Joyous Jazz" was published in NIP Magazine. Jones donated his jazz record collection to the National Afro-American History Museum and Culture Center in Wilberforce, OH. Named in Jones' honor, the William Lawless Jones Award is presented each year by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

For more see R. Billman, "William Lawless Jones," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/15/2000, Obituaries, MET section, p. 10B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

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Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Fort Knox Officers Training
NKAA Source: Cincinnati herald (newspaper)
NKAA Source: NIP magazine (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Cincinnati enquirer (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Who's who among African Americans

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Jones, William Lawless,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-11 17:08:51