First Black Pilot For Major U.S. Airline Dies At 89

March 13, 2024
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Reaching back and helping others to succeed, that’s what I’d like for my legacy to be.

Capt. David Harris, the first black pilot for a U.S. commercial airline, who passed away on March 8 at the age of 89.

What To Know: Capt. Harris, a former flier in the Air Force, became the first black pilot for a commercial airline in 1964 when he began working for American Airlines. He became known as a trailblazer during the civil rights movement, though noted, “There is no way I should be the first. It should’ve happened long before 1964.”

Capt. Harris worked for American Airlines for 30 years. After retirement, he continued flying for fun in his own single-engine aircraft.

Read More: David E. Harris, first Black pilot for a major U.S. carrier, dies at 89 (The Washington Post)

American Airlines: Remembering Capt. David E. Harris

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas

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