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

Weaver, Rufus Jack

(born: 1927  -  died: 2008) Rufus J. Weaver was one of the very few African American men from Kentucky to serve on a Navy submarine during WWII. He joined the Navy in 1945 and first served on "R-1." He was chief steward when he retired from the Navy in 1965. Rufus married Margurite in 1965 and the Weaver Family lived in New London, CT. In 1968, Rufus Weaver invented a stair-climbing wheelchair, U.S. patent #3,411,598.

Rufus Jack Weaver was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Jennie Washington Weaver and George Weaver. Jennie was born in Alabama and her parents were from Georgia. She died February 9, 1929, when Rufus was two years old; the family was living at the rear of 1414 S. 10th Street in Louisville, KY, according to Jennie Weaver's death certificate. Rufus Weaver was raised by his father for a few years, then lived in a detention home before living with his grandparents for a couple of years until his father got out of jail. At the age of 14, Rufus Weaver struck out on his own.

This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Shawn Livingston. For a more detailed account of Rufus J. Weaver's life and military career, see his entry in Black Submariners by G. A. Knoblock; and see Rufus J. Weaver in the August 2002 and the December 2008 issues of Hooter Hilites [available full text online].

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NKAA Source: Black submariners in the United States Navy, 1940-1975

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“Weaver, Rufus Jack,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed August 18, 2019,

Last modified: 2018-05-11 03:25:03