Independent Historian

Matt Van Houten is a student at the University of Washington who plans on receiving his undergraduate degree in History.  Matt currently plays soccer on the University of Washington soccer team and is a huge sports fan.

Henry McKee Minton (1870-1946)

Henry McKee Minton was an African American pharmacist and physician who helped found the first African American fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi, commonly known as The Boulé. Minton also founded the second black medical institution in Philadelphia, Mercy Hospital (now Mercy-Douglass Hospital). Minton was born on … Read MoreHenry McKee Minton (1870-1946)

Isiah Lord Thomas III (1961- )

Professional basketball star Isiah Lord Thomas III was the Detroit Pistons’ point guard from 1981-1994, helping to lead the team to back-to-back National Basketball Association (NBA) championships in 1989 and 1990. Thomas was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the … Read MoreIsiah Lord Thomas III (1961- )

Roy Campanella (1921-1993)

Roy Campanella was an African American baseball player who helped break the color barrier in Major League Baseball (MLB), becoming the first African American catcher in MLB when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Campanella, nicknamed “Campy,” was born on November 19, 1921 in Philadelphia, … Read MoreRoy Campanella (1921-1993)

Juan Antonio Marichal (1937- )

Pitcher Juan Antonio Marichal, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco (California) Giants from 1960 to 1973, was first Dominican-born baseball player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Marichal, nicknamed “The Dominican Dandy,” was born on October 20, 1937 in … Read MoreJuan Antonio Marichal (1937- )

Oscar Palmer Robertson (1938- )

Professional basketball player Oscar Palmer Robertson, nicknamed the “Big O,” was known as the most complete basketball player, with an excellent combination of scoring, passing, and rebounding skills. He still owns the record for most triple-doubles in a career with 181. Robertson played with the … Read MoreOscar Palmer Robertson (1938- )

Julius Winfield Erving II (1950- )

Professional basketball player Julius Winfield Erving II, respected by teammates and the fans alike, is best known for his on-court flair and inventive movements, introducing the slam dunk into the game of professional basketball.  Erving, nicknamed “Dr. J,” was born on February 22, 1950 in … Read MoreJulius Winfield Erving II (1950- )

Ernest “Ernie” Banks (1931-2015)

Ernest “Ernie” Banks was the first African American baseball player for the Chicago (Illinois) Cubs and the first African American manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). Banks earned the nickname “Mr. Cub” while playing shortstop and first base from 1953-1971 for the team. Ernest Banks … Read MoreErnest “Ernie” Banks (1931-2015)