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Rensselaer Alumni Magazine Winter 2005-06
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Feature Articles President's View At Rensselaer Class Notes Features Making a Difference Rensselaer Milestones Staying Connected In Memoriam
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When Garnet Douglass Baltimore quietly celebrated his 84th birthday in April 1943, the Troy Record published an article lauding the distinguished civil engineer and landscape architect as “one of the best known residents of Troy.”

Three years later his death was front-page news, and the Times Record followed up his lengthy obituary with an editorial eulogizing this first citizen of Troy who, born into a family of barbers, and grandson of a slave, became in 1881 the first African-American graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He then built his accomplished engineering career around the city that was his lifetime home.

“There are citizens who become so valuable that race, religion, ancestry or any other divisive attribute is merged in the standard of service,” wrote the Record. “Garnet D. Baltimore is not thought of in Troy by any narrower conception than that of Trojan. He was born here, educated here, practiced here, served the public here, died here. He represented Troy; he helped to develop it; he bet on it from birth to death.”

by Meg Gallien

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