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Henry Ossian Flipper was the first African-American graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He was born a slave on March 21, 1856 in Thomasville, Georgia, and died on May 3, 1940 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the eldest of 5 brothers. During his lifetime, he was accomplished as a soldier, civil engineer, author, newspaper editor, surveyor, cartographer, and pioneer in the oil industry.