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Robert H. Ogle

Robert H. Ogle

Born in Washington, DC, in 1886, Robert H. Ogle was the first African American known to serve as a professional Senate committee staffer. Ogle was educated at the historic M Street School in Washington, DC, one of the nation’s first public high schools for African American youth. He entered Cornell University in 1905, and was among the first black students to attend the prestigious university. While attending Cornell, he was a co-founder of Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s oldest fraternity established for men of African descent. Senate records show that Ogle was originally hired in 1919 as a “laborer” for the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Senator Francis E. Warren of Wyoming. His title was changed to “messenger” for the committee in 1921, and he was finally named an “additional clerk” in 1930.

 
  

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African Americans in the Senate
African Americans in Senate History