North Carolina-NC 1st Black Sheriff-September 19

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-September 19

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

In a few weeks our university will have a new employee who current positions is working closely with the sheriffs in North Carolina.

John H. Baker served as North Carolina’s first African American sheriff.  He served in this office for twenty-four years. He was the sheriff for Wake County from 1983-2007.


Before his law enforcement career, Baker was a defensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL).  After playing football for North Carolina Central University, he played professional ball.   His NFL tenure lasted eleven years and and with three teams: the Los Angeles Rams, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Detroit Lions.

One of the defining moments of Baker’s sporting career came in September 1964 when the then-Pittsburgh Steeler tackled football legend Y.A. Tittle of the New York Giants, leaving him bloody and battered in the end zone. The tackle is the subject of a famous picture that became part of sports history.
Sheriff Baker had a son John Baker III who I got to attempt to recruit and then later had to coach against him while he was a college basketball player at UNC Greensboro in the mid 1980’s. John Baker III also went on to coach high school basketball at Apex and SE Raleigh before retiring this past year.



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