Recently deceased California politician was influenced by Booker T. Washington

We were reminded of Julius Rosenwald last week while reading the obituary of Mervyn M. Dymally in The Washington Post.

“Mervyn Malcolm Dymally was born May 12, 1926, in Cedros, Trinidad, West Indies. He once told the Los Angeles Sentinel that he had been drifting toward a life as a ne’er-do-well when a book he found about Booker T. Washington, the influential African American writer and orator, inspired him to come to the United States, at age 19, for his education.”

(Mervyn M. Dymally obituary, The Washington Post, October 8th, 2012)

It was a similarly transformative moment in Rosenwald’s life when he read Booker T. Washington’s autobiograhy Up from Slavery in 1910. Like Mr. Dymally, Washington’s inspiring life story encouraged Rosenwald to devote his life to public service.

By Michael Rose