HOLTZCLAW, ROBERT FULTON (10 April 1903-11 Nov. 1992) was an AFRICAN-AMERICAN educator, author and publisher of historical books about African-American educational and religious figures.

Born in Utica, Mississippi to William Henry and Mary (Patterson) Holtzclaw, Robert attended Utica Normal and Industrial School (established and operated by his father) and earned degrees at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama and Howard University in Washington, D.C. He also attended the University of Montreal in the 1960s to study French.

Holtzclaw taught in Utica from 1925-1936, then in Talladega County schools until 1943 when he moved to Cleveland. The recipient of a MARTHA HOLDEN JENNINGS teaching fellowship, Holtzclaw taught social studies and history in several junior high schools, including Audubon, Robert H. Jamison and Lulu Diehl.

Upon retiring from teaching in 1973, Holtzclaw wrote his first book, Black Magnolias, about his father's school. He also wrote Scholars in Ebony and two books about African-American religious figures, When the Saints Go Marching In and Black Citizens of Heaven.

Holtzclaw belonged to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, served on the Black Achievers Committee of the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, and supported the National Afro-American History Museum in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Holtzclaw married Tina Mosley in Dallas, TX (divorced 1930). He married Laura Duncan in 1955. Holtzclaw had a son, Oscar, and stepdaughters Anna Lewis and Jeannette Lacey. He lived in SHAKER HEIGHTS until July 1991 when he moved to Los Angeles, CA. Holtzclaw died in L.A. and is buried in Highland Park Cemetery.

Article Categories