August 17, 2010
30 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
$105.00 USD, £76.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
September 5, 2013
30 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.75 Pounds (US)
$25.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Dr. Sam, Soldier, Educator, Advocate, Friend

An Autobiography

When he was seventeen, Sam Kelly met Paul Robeson, who asked him, "What are you doing for the race?" That question became a challenge to the young Kelly and inspired him to devote his life to helping others. Sam Kelly's story intersects with major developments in twentieth-century African American history, from the rich culture of the Harlem Renaissance and the integration of the U.S. Army to the civil rights movement and the political turmoil of the 1960s.

Kelly recounts his childhood in Greenwich, Connecticut, and his visits to Harlem. He describes his rise from army private to second lieutenant between 1944 and 1945, his bitter encounters with racism while wearing his army uniform in the South, his participation in the U.S. occupation of Japan, and his role in the desegregation of the army in 1948. In his rise to colonel, Kelly was a training and operations officer who helped create the post–Korean War rapid-response deployment army that would later fight in Vietnam and Iraq.

As an educator, Dr. Sam earned the respect of the Black Panthers who took his African American history courses. In 1970, he became the first vice president for the Office of Minority Affairs and the first major African American administrator at the University of Washington. For six years, he led one of the strongest programs in the nation dedicated to integrating students of color at a major university. After retiring from the University of Washington at the age of sixty-five, Dr. Sam continued his work for black Americans by beginning a new career as a teacher and administrator at an alternative high school in Portland, Oregon.

This remarkable book shares the difficulties in his personal life, including the birth of his special needs son, Billy; the unsuccessful struggle of his wife, Joyce, against breast cancer; and the challenges facing an interracial family. Before he died in 2009, he was proud to witness the election of Barack Obama as the first African American president, a fulfillment of his lifelong dream that the nation would recognize the rights and dignity of all citizens.

Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udknuKbOmnE

About the Authors

Quintard Taylor is a professor of American history at the University of Washington and the author of The Forging of a Black Community.


"Kelly's book is important reading for all students of African American, Pacific Northwest, military, civil rights, and educational history and will also appeal to a popular audience."—Kimberly Jensen, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Fall 2011

"Kelly's autobiography details the career of a man motivated from an early age to work for the benefit of his race as a whole."

"Follow Sam Kelly through his life and you'll learn about American history and about Seattle's past. Like Zelig or Forrest Gump, Kelly was often there. Unlike those fictional characters, he was real, and he made an impact. You can visit history in 'Dr. Sam."—The Seattle Times

"A signature feature of Kelly's approach to educational equity was inclusiveness. He sought not just redress for African Americans but also for Chicanos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and poorer white students as well. . . A self-described patriot and 'conservative' . . . Kelly viewed educational service as an extension of his patriotic duty to country, epitomized on the battlefield."—Oregon Historical Quarterly

9780295990613 : dr-sam-soldier-educator-advocate-friend-kelly-taylor
240 Pages
$105.00 USD
9780295993348 : dr-sam-soldier-educator-advocate-friend-kelly-taylor
Paperback / softback
240 Pages
$25.00 USD

Other Titles by Quintard Taylor

The Forging of a Black Community, second edition

Quintard Taylor, foreword by Quin'Nita Cobbins-Modica, Norm Rice, Norman Rice, afterword by Albert S. Broussard
Jun 2022 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$105.00 USD - Hardback

Seeking El Dorado

edited by Lawrence B. de Graaf, Kevin Mulroy, Quintard Taylor
Jul 2015 - University of Washington Press
$50.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$105.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Educators

William Louis Poteat

Randal L. Hall
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$30.00 USD - Hardback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

Daniel Coit Gilman and the Birth of the American Research University

Michael T. Benson
Oct 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Thomas D. Clark of Kentucky

edited by John E. Kleber
Dec 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$30.00 USD - Hardback
$100.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in History of the Americas

Vaccine Wars

Kim Tolley
Dec 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$32.95 USD - Hardback
$32.95 USD - Electronic book text

Courteous Capitalism

Daniel Robert
Nov 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$64.95 USD - Electronic book text

Comics and Conquest

Rhiannon Koehler
Nov 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$59.95 USD - Hardback
$59.95 USD - Electronic book text