African American History | Charles Gittens| First African American U.S. Secret Service agent

Charles GittensCharles LeRoy Gittens (August 31, 1928 – July 27, 2011) was an American United States Secret Service agent. Gittens joined the Secret Service in 1956, becoming the agency’s first African American agent.

Gittens was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 31, 1928, as one of his family’s seven children.[1][2] His father was a contractor who had immigrated to the United States from Barbados.[3] He left his high school before graduation in order to enlist in the United States Army.[1][2] He was promoted to lieutenant in the Army and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War.[2] Gittens earned his GED while serving in the Army.[2] Following the end of the war, Gittens earned a bachelor’s degree from present-day North Carolina Central University. He completed the four year academic program in three years, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish. [1] As a result, he was bilingual.

Gittens taught at a school in North Carolina for one year. He was encouraged to take the civil service exam, which resulted in his recruitment into the United States Secret Service.[2] He began his career at the agency’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina.[1] He then became an investigator at the Secret Service’s field office in New York City, where he served for ten years.[3] He was assigned to a “special detail” Secret Service unit, which investigated bank fraud and counterfeiting.[1][2] Gittens was then transferred to the Secret Service’s field office in Puerto Rico, where he guarded New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller during his 1969 trip to the Caribbean and Latin America.[3]

Gittens was promoted to the head of the Secret Service’s field office in Washington, D.C. in 1971.[2][3] He retired from the agency in 1979.

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A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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3 Responses to African American History | Charles Gittens| First African American U.S. Secret Service agent

  1. vitaminlover says:

    The Secret Service fascinates me. Also the Navy Seals.

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