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DATE:  February 14, 2008
CONTACT: Angela Walker 361.825.2612; or Cassandra Hinojosa 361.825.2337
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Recently Honored Tuskegee Airman and Harvard Medical School Graduate to Speak during Black History Month

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In the midst of battling segregation and racism in his own backyard, former Tuskegee Airman Granville Coggs became an American hero as one of the first black pilots to serve in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.

Coggs will be the keynote speaker at a Black History Month program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Wednesday, Feb. 20, at noon in the University Center Lone Star Ballroom. Coggs will speak on “Congressional Gold Medal Tuskegee Airmen 2008.” The celebration, sponsored by the African American Cultural Society and the Islander Cultural Alliance, is free and open to the public.

In March 2007, more than 60 years after the airmen fought in the skies over Europe, President George W. Bush presented around 200 Tuskegee aviators with the Congressional Gold Medal for outstanding deeds in the national interest of the United States.

After Coggs completed the segregated training program, he graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1953 and became the first black physician and staff member at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco. In addition, he established the first Head Ultrasound Division Department of Radiology at the University of California at San Francisco. He is the co-inventor of the Precision Breast Lesion Localizer, a device which locates breast cancer before it can be discovered by self-examination, and the Central X-Ray Beam Guided Breast Biopsy System, which discovers suspicious breast lesions with high precision and accuracy.

Coggs was born July 30, 1925, in Pine Bluff, Ark. He retired as a professor of radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in 1989, but continues to work as a staff radiologist at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
Coggs, who has competed in the Senior Olympics, is a competitive runner who has won numerous gold, silver and bronze medals.

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