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Edward Giles Irvin

August 13, 1893 - November 4, 1982

Laurel Wreath Holder


Founder Edward Giles Irvin, a civic and religious leader, journalist and entrepreneur, was born in Spencer, Indiana on August 13, 1893 and was the seventh of nine children and son to an AME Minister.


Irvin graduated from Kokomo Indiana High School in 1910 and entered Indiana University the same year. After leaving school, he pursued a Journalistic career in various cities throughout the country until World War I.

After the War, he moved to Indianapolis where he was on the staff of the Indianapolis Freeman. Founder Irvin worked for a short time as an editor at the Gary Sun newspaper before becoming sports editor at the Chicago Daily Bulletin newspaper. He also established the Indiana Shining Star weekly newspaper.


Aside from his success as a Journalist, Brother Irvin was a pioneer in promoting basketball and track athletics in the small town schools of Indiana. He was an active member of the Methodist Church of Chicago and a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges. He met his wife, May Willa in Anderson, Indiana and moved to Chicago, where he later took up employment at the Post Office. He also organized and operated the Afro-American Manufacturing Company in Chicago, which produced novelties, candies, and specialties.


Founder Irvin served in World War I and was cited for bravery while performing his duties as a combat medic with the Expeditionary Forces in France. He also served on the Selective Service Board during World War II and the Korean War. He received the 2nd highest medal that is given by this country for valor. He also received two Distinguished Service Awards, from President Truman and Eisenhower respectively.


Founder Irvin, a long-time member of the Chicago Alumni Chapter, was awarded the Laurel Wreath and the Edward G. Irvin Undergraduate Chapter of the Year Award is named in his honor.


He died on November 4, 1982 and is survived by his daughter, Dorothy Manyweather

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