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Wesley Augustus Williams
Wesley Augustus Williams in 1915.jpg
Wesley Augustus Williams in 1915
Born (1897-08-26)August 26, 1897
Died July 3, 1984(1984-07-03) (aged 86)
Known for First African-American officer in the New York City Fire Department
Parent(s) James Henry Williams
Lucy Metrash

Wesley Augustus Williams (August 26, 1897 - July 3, 1984) was the first African-American officer in the New York City Fire Department. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1927. He was the third African-American man to join the New York Fire Department. He was one of the founders of the Vulcan Society in 1940.

Biography

He was born on August 26, 1897 to James Henry Williams (1879-1948) and Lucy Metrash (1881-1932) in Manhattan, New York City.

He wanted to join the New York City Fire Department when he read about Samuel Jesse Battle joining the New York City police department. The first African-American to join the New York City Fire Department was William H. Nicholson, who joined in 1898. Williams had a very high score on his written test. He scored perfect on his physical examination. All firefighter candidates must have a character reference. His was written by former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt. Even so he was put on the waiting list while others were hired ahead of him. Williams finally joined on January 10, 1919. He was assigned to Engine Company 55 in Manhattan, New York City. Williams was promoted to lieutenant in 1927.

He died on July 3, 1984 at the Physicians Hospital in Forest Hills, New York City, he was 86 years old.

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