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Benjamin L. Swinson
December 26, 2023
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Dr. Benjamn Lee Swinson, LTC (Retired), US Army, passed away peacefully at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 after a lengthy illness. Benjamin was born in Wilson, North Carolina on March 7, 1934. His family moved to Washington, D.C. as a young boy where he was raised. Benjamin excelled at football and basketball and was a standout athlete at Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School and would continue his athletic prowess, playing both football and basketball at Miner Teacher’s College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography. While in college, Benjamin was initiated into Beta Kappa Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and served as President his senior year.
Shortly after graduation from College, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and would later be selected for and graduate from Officer Candidate School as a commissioned infantry officer. After completing the U.S. Army Airborne course, Benjamin served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He also served in Germany and numerous posts throughout the U.S. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with 2 devices and the Republic of Vietnam Gallentry Cross. During his military service he also earned both a Master’s degree (American University) and Ph.D. (George Washington University).
Following retirement from the U.S. Army, Benjamin spent 22 years as a senior administrator at Howard University, rising to the position of Director of Cooperative Education. While at Howard, he was appointed to the Maryland State Board of Education, and provided several years of tireless service.
After retiring from Howard University, Benjamin and his beloved wife, Ruthe Swinson, decided to travel the world. They spent the next 23 years, traveling Africa, Europe, South America and Australia. They enjoyed both land and water excursions, taking numerous ocean and river cruises.
Benjamin was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin Sr. and Lillian Swinson, and his wife, Ruthe Swinson. Survivors include his brother, Calvin (Macy); his children, Leon A. Swinson and Marjorie Swinson and stepdaughter Valerie (Rick) Farmer as well as his beloved grandchildren Daniel G. Swinson, C. Zoe Swinson and Morgan Walters. Benjamin had an extensive library and was voracious reader. He enjoyed watching sports and took special delight in spending time with his grandchildren. He leaves a host of other treasured family and friends who remember his caring and wisdom.