GARVIN, CHARLES H. (27 Oct. 1890-17 July 1968), physician, civic leader, and businessman interested in black social and economic programs, was born in Jacksonville, Fla. and graduated from Howard University''s medical school in 1915. He practiced medicine in Cleveland from 1916 until his death. During WORLD WAR I, he became the first black physician commissioned in the U.S. Army, serving in France as commanding officer in the 92nd Division. Garvin''s interest in medicine extended beyond his practice to research and writing, especially tracing the history of Africans and AFRICAN AMERICANS in medicine. He amassed an important collection of books on the black experience and also completed a manuscript (unpublished as of 1994) and wrote several articles on the subject. His account of the history of blacks in medicine in Cleveland was published in 1939 in the Women''s Voice, a national women''s magazine. Garvin was a founder of the Dunbar Life Insurance Co. and helped organize QUINCY SAVINGS & LOAN CO., serving as a director and board chairman. He also pioneered integrated housing during a period of intense racial separation in the city, living in the home he built on Wade Park Ave., an exclusive allotment, despite threats of violence and two bombings. Garvin was a trustee of KARAMU HOUSE, the URBAN LEAGUE OF CLEVELAND, the Cleveland branch of the NAACP, and the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY. He was also national president of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
View finding aid for the Charles Herbert Garvin Papers, WRHS.
View image at Cleveland Public Library.