Luther J. Porter

Luther J. Porter

December 12, 1908-April 27, 1999

Secretary, 1967-1968, 1972-1976; Treasurer, 1977-1980

            Luther J. Porter, a long-time member of DAS, was born in Wilmington, Delaware and was an outstanding educator and citizen in his native city.   One of five children of Joseph--a chauffer for W. W. “Chick” Laird--and Pearl Porter,  Luther was valedictorian of the Class of 1925, Howard High School, then an all African-American school in Wilmington.  Prohibited by segregation policy from enrolling at the University of Delaware, Luther was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1929 with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and philosophy and where he later earned a Master of Education degree.           

             For 30 years, Luther taught mathematics and civics at Howard High School, inspiring thousands through his common sense and values of service, frugality and learning.  During his 31-year retirement, Luther pursued his favorite pastimes: bridge, reading and astronomy.   For many years he was treasurer of the Delaware Chapter, NAACP, and served on committees of the national organization.

            Speaking of Luther Porter, DAS member Harry Shipman, Ph.D., Annie Jump Cannon Chair of Astronomy at the University of Delaware, said:  “My receipt of the Luther J. Porter Award is the one of which I am most proud.  There are those who spend days studying stars in front of computers, but Luther reminds us that star-gazing began in backyards with telescopes and fascination.”


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