MR. EDWARD FOSTER TRIPP
Edward Foster Tripp was born in the rural county of Fitzhugh, Arkansas on May 22, 1926 and his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1932. He attended public schools and graduated from Vashon High School in 1946. In later years, he was named to Vashon’s Hall of Fame. His athleticism earned him a scholarship to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where he graduated in 1950. He later earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from St. Louis University. He married Rose Tripp in 1951 and had two sons.
Mr. Tripp was an active member of Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church where he served in many capacities and committees. He was also a contributing member of several organizations including Annie Malone Children’s Home; the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, Anniversary Club, the Royal Vagabonds, Carver House and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Mr. Tripp was employed by the St. Louis City Government in 1953 and served in many capacities until his retirement in 1997, including: Deputy Chief, St. Louis Juvenile Court; Chief Probation and Parole Officer, St. Louis Circuit Courts (he was the first black person to hold that position); Commissioner of Corrections, City of St. Louis; and Director of the Department of Public Safety, City of St. Louis. He also served as adjunct professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Harris-Stowe University and Community Colleges. Mr. Tripp was also a field auditor for several prisons around the country for the Commission of Accreditation for Corrections.
Mr. Tripp was one of the founders of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and “Father” of the Missouri Chapter. He was a National Board member and very active in NABCJ in many capacities. He received recognition and several national awards for his knowledge of the correctional and probation and parole systems. He was an active member of the American Correctional Association and was awarded their highest award – the E. R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award. From NABCJ, he was awarded the William L. Hastie Award for outstanding national leadership in the field of criminal justice, and the Medgar Evers Award for unselfish dedication to the ideals of fairness, equality and justice.
His commitment and dedication to the field of corrections was exemplary. He mentored many correctional professionals and encouraged them during their careers. Many persons around the country can attribute their success to their relationship with Mr. Tripp.
He was an active member of several organizations including Annie Malone Children's Home; the Heerbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, Anniversary Club, the Royal Vagabonds, Carver House and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
EDWARD FOSTER TRIPP IS THE FIRST INDUCTEE TO THE NABCJ WALL OF FAME.
MR. WILLIAM "BILL" HICKS
Ms. Harding began her federal career in April, 1963, at the Social Security Administration, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Department of Defense in Oahu, Hawaii. She transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1968 and held various positions: Secretary, Records Manager, Community Programs Manager, Chief, Affirmative Action Programs Manager, Programs Review Auditor, Associate Warden, and Warden, before retiring in October l999.
Ms. Harding first heard about NABCJ from co-workers Richard Lyles and J.D. Williams. She became a member of NABCJ in l974 and attended the National Conference in Dallas, Texas. After becoming aware of the Mission and Goals of this Organization, Ms. Harding decided to become an active member. She also recognized that this Organization was an excellent resource for identifying qualified individuals for employment within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
She has been a member or Founding Member of the following chapters: Washington, District of Columbia, Chicago, Illinois, Kansas City, Missouri, Allenwood, Pennsylvania, Danbury, Connecticut, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Harding has been very generous in contributing her time, talents, energy and financial support to the organization. During the early years, she volunteered for various roles such as: Workshop Presenter and Moderator, Membership and Conference Registration Chairperson and Musician Extraordinaire. In the latter years, she served as the Federal Representative on the Board of Directors, National and Assistant Secretary, Advisor to the President, Mistress of Ceremonies for the Annual Banquet and other duties as assigned.
Ms. Harding is a kindhearted individual who maintains a positive attitude, listens to others' issues and concerns and makes every effort to resolve problems and differences of opinion.
In her commitment to NABCJ, she has sponsored the Students Reception, assisted others to attend the National Conference, and donated for various NABCJ programs.
Her NABCJ role models are Shirley Stutely Richie, Mamie Fains, Mary Leftridge-Byrd, Pat Quann, Vonzell Gowdy, and Janie Jeffers . "All of these ladies made great contributions to the organization and were instrumental in providing effective leadership toward the success of NABCJ". Ms. Harding thanks these ladies for mentoring her and demonstrating how to excel and be an asset to the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.
Known as "Mother Marge" her commitment and dedication to NABCJ is second to none. In recognition of 35 years of loyal dedicated service to the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice-
MS. MARGARET L. HARDING IS THE THIRD INDUCTEE TO THE NABCJ WALL OF FAME.
DR. BENNETT J. COOPER, SR.
In 1921 on a warm summer day, Emmett and Lydia Cooper gave birth to twin brothers Bennett and Joseph.The twin brothers would grow up and do many great things together. They were featured three times in Ebony Magazine as successful twins. (1948, 1967 and 1975).
Both brothers worked for the United States Postal Service. When a high ranking job came open, which they were both being considered for, Bennett knew that he and his brother were highly educated,intelligent and motivated men so he made a very conscious decision not to compete against his brother, he left the Postal Service.
Later in 1957, he became the Chief Psychologist for the Ohio State Reformatory. At that time he was the highest ranking African American in the system. Dr. Cooper went on to become the Deputy Superintendent, Superintendent and then Commissioner of Corrections for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene. In 1972 Governor James Rhodes appointed Dr. Cooper as the first Director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He served in that role until 1975. He retired from state service in 1983.
Dr. Cooper was recognized as accomplishing many things during his storied career. He was the first African American to become a prison superintendent in a state government system in 1966 and the first African American Director of a prison system. He received the E.R. Cass award from American Correctional Association in 1985.
Dr. Cooper was the keynote speaker at a Blacks and Criminal Justice conference in 1974 which was held at the University of Alabama. The participants were discussing why they didn’t have an organization to promote their needs in the criminal justice arena, such as diversity, fairness in the justice system and professionalism. Dr. Cooper challenged the group to stop talking about it and make something happen.
As he is fond of saying, “If that makes me the founder of NABCJ, then that is how I did it”. Dr. Cooper is very proud of NABCJ and all NABCJ has done over the years.
Dr. Cooper, a son, brother, husband, father, educator and motivator. Dr. Cooper, a giant in the field of corrections and a man who has touched numerous lives in the criminal justice arena.
DR. BENNETT J. COOPER, SR IS THE FOURTH INDUCTEE TO THE NABCJ WALL OF FAME
CARLYLE I. HOLDER