Little Known Black History Fact: Ed Dwight Jr., First Black Astronaut Candidate

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Dwight was born in Kansas City, Kan. in 1933. He received his bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from Arizona State University in 1957 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Denver, 1977.

After leaving with an honorable discharge from the military, Dwight took a job at the IBM Corporation as a Marketing Representative & Systems Engineer. After leaving IBM, Dwight became an aviation consultant in Dallas, TX. After starting a restaurant chain, he focused his attention on Dwight Development Associates, Inc., a real estate land development and construction company. Even prior to his educaiton at the University of Denver,  Dwight was commissioned to create a sculpture of Colorado’s first black lieutenant governor, George Brown in 1974. Even though he didn’t have any formal training, the governor insisted that he build the sculpture. This experience led to Dwight’s collection entitled “Black Frontier in the American West.” The collection was such a success, Dwight was urged to make “Jazz: An American Art Form,” depicting over 70 bronzed sculptures including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman.

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