Studio Portrait of Hubert Eaton, Sr.
Hubert A. Eaton, Sr. (1916-1991) was born in Fayetteville, NC. He received his Bachelor of Science from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte NC in 1937, and went on to the University of Michigan, where he was awarded a Master in Science in 1938, and his MD in 1942. Dr. Eaton won many awards in tennis as a young adult, and after college, he was doubles champion for four years in the American Tennis Association (ATA). He was president of the ATA from 1960-1970. In Wilmington, the Eatons had a regulation size tennis court on their property. It was here that Althea Gibson trained to become a world-class tennis player, becoming the first African American to win at Wimbledon.
Eaton's successful litigation led to the desegregation of New Hanover County schools, hospitals, the Municipal Golf Course, and the Public Library. Although he lost three attempts for a seat on the New Hanover County Board of Education, making him the first African American to seek public office since the Race Riots of 1898, Eaton later Eaton served on the Board of Trustees of Cape Fear Technical Institute (now Cape Fear Community College) from 1963-1973, and on the trustees of the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 1977-1985, becoming Chairman of the Board in 1981. In 1984, he published his autobiography, "Every Man Should Try." In 1996, Eaton Elementary School in Wilmington was named in his memory.
African American Physicians; Eaton, Hubert A. (Hubert Arthur), 1916-1991; African American tennis players; Segregation
Robert M. Fales Collection #217
New Hanover County Public Library
Donated to the New Hanover County Public Library by Dr. Robert M. Fales upon his death in 1995
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