The Great Man "Quentin R. Mease"
There are many past and present leaders in the Greater Houston Community; however, Quentin R. Mease is one of the most admired. Houston legend, community leader, and civil rights pioneer Quentin R. Mease is a remarkable individual who grew up in an all-black coal mining town in Buxton, Iowa.
During the segregated United States military of WWII, Mease rose to the rank of captain and later became a major in the Air Force Reserve. After being honorably discharged from the military, he chose a career in servant leadership which lead him to Houston. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, he became an agent for peaceful desegregation. Quietly working with powerful white civic leaders, such as John T. Jones and Roy Hofheinz, and effectively neutralizing obstructionists, like police chief Herman Short, Mease joined the forces that allowed Houston to avoid the racial violence experienced by other United States cities at the time.
Quentin Mease built the first African American YMCA in Houston and served as executive secretary for twenty five years. He is a founding member and first president of the Houston Area Urban League, the first African American member of the Downtown Rotary Club, and the first African American person on the Harris County Hospital District Board, which he chaired for 19 years. Today, the Quentin Mease Community Hospital is named in his honor and his dream for a new YMCA to embrace all has become a legacy to his life of service.
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