Dr. Wadell Brooks, Sr., was born in Lexington, Mississippi. He was the first black student to graduate from East St. Louis Senior High School and a centennial graduate of Illinois State Normal University. He received two Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Faith Grant College in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Brooks accepted his first position in Federal Civil Service at the VA Medical Center as an Educational Therapist, Physical Medicine, and Rehabilitation Service in charge of Commercial Studies and remained there for eleven years. He then accepted the following positions at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center: Educational Specialist (2 years); Director Housing Assignment/Referral Service (9 years); and Deputy, Equal Employment Opportunity Officer (11 years) before retiring November 30, 1990, after completing 35 years of Federal Civil Service which included two years in the Military Service (army), 16 months in Korea receiving the Korean Service Medal, Brooks initiated a business in the human service field.
He and his wife realized the fulfillment of a dream in day care, infant and a group home for girls securing financing assistance from the Small Business Administration. Community activities always played a major role in Brooks’ life.
He initiated and hosted NAACP Focus, a weekly radio talk show on WKRS-AM 1220 which aired every Sunday morning. Dr. Brooks also hosted a weekly local Comcast Community Assess talk show, “Community Forum” on Channel 17.
In 1994, Dr. Wadell Brooks, Sr., received the Best of Lake County First Production by a Producer award for his show.
He served on a variety of committees: Served as deacon, Shiloh Baptist Church; Served as trustee, Mt. Sinai Institutional Baptist Church; Member District 64 School Board of Education, Past President, North Chicago Rotary Club; Past Master, Rufus Mitchell Lodge # 107; Prince Hall Mason of the Year, State of Illinois-1988; Honorary 33 degree and last degree of Masonry 1988. Served as Board of Directors, Chairman, Lake County Race Unity Task Force; Past Patron, Emblem Chapter #140 Order of the Eastern Star; Listed in the 1980-81 publication of Who’s Who Among Black Americans, Past President, North Chicago Branch NAACP; Served as national President American for Rehabilitation Therapist; (1970); Served as President, North Chicago Chamber of Commerce. Member, Dads Are Doing Something, Inc., non-profit. North Chicago District #187 SchoolsDads for Education; 1984 Lake County Urban League Businessperson of the Year; 1996 Charles E. DeRivera Memorial Award; Most Influential African American of Lake County; 1999 Omni Society of Life Models Award; 2002 National Spiritual Assembly of Bahai’s of the United States of America-David Kellum Award.
On July 4, 2022, Dr. Wadell Brooks Sr., fulfilled his earthly assignment and transitioned to heavenly reward.
ArtifactDr. Wadell Brooks, Sr.CollectionContemporary Black AmericaThe African American Museumat the England ManorShare
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