|Edward Joseph Dwight Jr.|
September 9, 1933|
Kansas City, Kansas
|Alma mater||Arizona State University & University of Denver|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1953–1966|
As a child, he was an avid reader and talented artist who was mechanically gifted and enjoyed working with his hands.
Private Catholic Elementary and High Schools
- National Honor Society
- Scholarship to Kansas City Art Institute
Kansas City Community College, 1953
- Associate of Arts Degree, Engineering
Arizona State University, 1957
- Bachelor of Science Degree
- Aeronautical Engineering
- Cum Laude
USAF Test Pilot School, 1961
- Master of Science (Equivalent) Degree, Astronautics
U.S. Aerospace Research Pilot School, 1962
- Astronaut Training
University of Denver, 1977
- Master of Fine Art (MFA), Sculpture
Dwight joined the United States Air Force in 1953. In 1957, while serving as an Air Force test pilot, he earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University. He received the rank of captain while serving in the Air Force.
In 1961, the Kennedy administration selected Dwight as the first African American astronaut trainee, at the suggestion of the National Urban League's Whitney Young. His selection garnered international media attention, and Dwight appeared on the covers of newsmagazines such as Ebony, Jet, and Sepia.
Despite facing discrimination from other astronauts, Dwight persevered until the assassination of President Kennedy, after which government officials created a threatening atmosphere and he was assigned to be a liaison officer in Germany to a non-existent German test pilot school. As a result of this climate, he resigned from the Air Force in 1966.
After resigning from the Air Force, Dwight worked as an engineer, in real estate, and for IBM. He learned how to operate the University of Denver's metal casting foundry in the mid 1970s, and received a Master of Fine Arts from the University in 1977.
Each of Dwight's pieces involves blacks and civil rights activists. Most of the pieces depict only black people, but the Underground Railroad Sculpture in Battle Creek also honors Erastus and Sarah Hussey, who were conductors on the Underground Railroad. Dwight's first major works was a commission in 1974 to create a sculpture of Colorado Lieutenant Governor George L. Brown. Soon after, he was commissioned by the Colorado Centennial Commission to create a series of bronze sculptures entreated "Black Frontier in the American West."
Soon after his completion of his "Black Frontier in the American West" exhibit, Dwight created a series of over 70 bronze sculptures at the St. Louis Arch Museum at the request of the National Park Service. The series, "Jazz: An American Art Form", depicts the evolution of jazz and features jazz performers such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, and Charlie Parker.
Dwight has created over 100 public art sculptures, including:
|African American History Monument||South Carolina State House grounds – Columbia, South Carolina||March 29, 2001|||
|Alex Haley / Kunta Kinte Memorial||The City Dock – Annapolis, Maryland||December 1999|||
|Black Revolutionary War Patriots Memorial||Constitution Gardens – Washington, D.C.||1991|||
|Captain Walter Dyett Statue||Chicago, Illinois|||
|Concerto||Folly Theater – Kansas City, Missouri|||
|Dr. Benjamin Mays||Morehouse College Commons – Atlanta, Georgia|||
|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.||Anne Arundel Community College – Annapolis, Maryland||2006|||
|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.||Houston, Texas||2007|||
|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial||City Park – Denver, Colorado||2002|||
|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King||Allentown, Pennsylvania||2011|||
|Gateway to Freedom International Memorial to the Underground Railroad||Philip A. Hart Plaza – Detroit, Michigan||2001|||
|George Washington Williams bust||Ohio Statehouse – Columbus, Ohio|||
|Hank Aaron||Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium – Atlanta, Georgia||1982|||
|Inauguration of History and Hope – Inaugural Sculpture Scene of President Barack Obama||Touring exhibit||2010|||
|Jack Trice Memorial||Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa|||
|Jazz: An American Art Form||St. Louis Arch Museum – St. Louis, Missouri|||
|John Hope Franklin Tower of Reconciliation||Tulsa, Oklahoma|||
|Mayor Harold Washington||Harold Washington Cultural Center – Chicago, Illinois||2004|||
|Memorial to Rosa Parks, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement||Grand Rapids, Michigan||2010|||
|Mother of Africa Chapel||Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception – Washington, D.C.||1997|||
|Mr. Frederick Douglass||Frederick Douglass National Historic Site – Washington, D.C.||1980||Dwight's first commission|
|Quincy Jones Sculpture Park||Chicago, Illinois|||
|Soldiers Memorial||Lincoln University – Jefferson City, Missouri||2007|||
|Texas African American History Memorial||Texas State Capitol – Austin, Texas||2016|| Erected by the Texas African American History Memorial Foundation.|
|Tower of Freedom International Memorial to the Underground Railroad||Civic Esplanade – Windsor, Ontario||2001|||
|Underground Railroad Memorial||Kellogg Foundation headquarters – Battle Creek, Michigan||1994|||
|United House of Prayer for All People||Lincoln Cemetery – Suitland, Maryland||2008|||
|William E. Smith, Director of Airports||Denver, Colorado|||
- "Ed Dwight". thehistorymakers.com. The HistoryMakers. June 19, 2002. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- "Behind the Scenes". eddwight.com. Ed Dwight Studios, Inc. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- White, Frank III. (February 1984). "The Sculptor Who Would Have Gone into Space". Ebony. Google Books. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- "Memorials & Public Art". eddwight.com. Ed Dwight Studios, Inc. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- "Underground Railroad Statuary and Memorial". detroit1701.org. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- Texas State Preservation Board
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