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Greenburgh Honors Centenarian Coast Guard Trailblazer

Interview footage of Olivia Hooker, 100, from Murphy and Friends.
Interview footage of Olivia Hooker, 100, from Murphy and Friends. Video Credit: greenburghstudents
Six Trailblazers, including Olivia J. Hooker, seated, were honored last week.
Six Trailblazers, including Olivia J. Hooker, seated, were honored last week. Photo Credit: Ken Liebeskind

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Olivia J. Hooker, the first African-American woman to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard and a former professor at Fordham University, was honored by the Greenburgh Town Board on her 100th birthday on Wednesday.

Hooker, who lives in Greenburgh, was honored by Town Clerk Judith Beville and Town Board members during their regular meeting on Wednesday.

In 1921, Hooker witnessed race riots in Tulsa, Okla., and 24 years later, she became the first black woman to enlist in the Coast Guard. The Wall Street Journal recently published a front-page profile about her in its New York section, reporting that the Coast Guard plans to rename the galley at its Staten Island base after Hooker.

Coast Guard officials said they chose the galley because it was among the most popular buildings in the base, according to Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner.

"Greenburgh is fortunate to have such an outstanding resident living in our community. She's also a very nice person -- a role model for citizens,'' Feiner said.

Hooker was honored Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Westchester County Center in White Plains as one of six African-American trailblazers by the African-American Advisory Board of Westchester County, which holds the event every year in February in affiliation with Black History Month.

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