Dr. Hubert A. Eaton, Sr. (1916-1991)

Dr. Hubert A. Eaton, Sr. (December 2,1916 - September 14, 1991) was born in Fayetteville, NC to Estelle and Chester Arthur Eaton. 

The family moved to Winston Salem, NC where his father taught him a valuable life lesson at 14 years old, after an incident on his job, “You must never be afraid of White people. And you must never, never walk away from adversity. You must stay and deal with it.” Hubert A. Eaton Sr. had a great love for his parents and family, he took to heart their instructions. He knew of the racial discrimination they endured. 

Hubert A. Eaton Sr. graduated from Johnson C. Smith University where he was a member of the school tennis team. In 1932 at the age of 15, Eaton was the first African American to win the NC Interscholastic Tennis Championship. He graduated from Johnson C. Smith University, he earned a Master of Science in Zoology and a medical degree at the University of Michigan. He was a guardian, mentor, and coach to the world tennis star Althea Gibson. He opened doors for African Americans in professional tennis, and was a trailblazer in his activism. 

Most of his challenges in life were heard in a courtroom.  He initiated a series of lawsuits to end discrimination in New Hanover schools and sports along with a ten-year battle to end discriminatory practices in health care. 

Headshot portrait of an African American man (Hubert Arthur Eaton) wearing glasses, suit, and tie.
Hubert Arthur Eaton, courtesy of New Hanover County Public Library Digital Archives



1955-4,53-514 Autobiography, Hubert A. Eaton "Every MAN Should Try"
1984 James Walker Memorial Hospital Tax Exemption Status Discovery 9-1-1956 
Letter from 6:0. Pearson, Attorney and Counsellor AT LAW Durham, NC, sent to Judge Gilliam, United States District Court Eastern District, Raleigh, North Carolina Re: Civil Action # 700 Eaton et Al vs. James Walker Memorial Hospital 
HA. "Eaton, MD, S.J. Gray, MD, D.C. Roan M.D., to NAACP. Legal Defense Fund and Educational Fund, INC. 1094 3rd St. New York NY Re: Eaton et. Al vs. James Walker Memorial Hospital et al. United States, December 3,1958