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SLUs first African-American student dies

Sylvester Smith (SLU photo)


St. Louis, MO – The first African-American ever admitted to Saint Louis University died this week.

Sylvester Smith was one of five African-Americans who were enrolled in SLU's summer session in 1944. He died on Tuesday (Aug. 23) at the age of 90.

Smith stepped into his first class at SLU on D-Day - June 6, 1944.

The school was the first university in any of the former slave states to establish a policy admitting African Americans.

Smith had already made history when he went to SLU, though, because the year before he became the first African-American school superintendent in Missouri. He was superintendent of Kinloch schools.


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