Dr. Olivia J. Hooker

Dublin Core


Dr. Olivia J. Hooker


Hooker, Olivia J.


Dr. Olivia J. Hooker was born in Oklahoma in 1915 and survived the Tulsa Riots of 1921 when her fathers shop along with her family's home was burned. Her family then moved to Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and earned her Bachelors of Arts. Olivia then petitioned and was initially rejected from joining the U.S Navy, but had meanwhile enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, becoming the first African-American to enlist. She was part of the Coast Guard Women's Reserves (SPARS) program and left at the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class.

After her service, she returned to college to complete a Masters at Teachers College, Columbia University and her PhD in Psychology at the University of Rochester.

Dr. Hooker worked in a women's correctional facility in Albion, NY and later served on the faculty of Fordham University from 1963 to 1985, when she retired at the age of 87.

After retirement, Dr. Hooker joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Yonkers as a volunteer. In 2015 Coast Guard Sector New York renamed the Sector New York Galley in honor of Dr. Hooker.

Collection Items

Excerpt of an interview with Dr. Olivia J. Hooker by Theresa Murphy. Dr. Hooker discusses her early life in Oklahoma and the Tulsa race riots of 1921.
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