Portrait photograph of Colonel Charles Young in 1919. He was the third African American graduate of West Point, the first black U.S. National Park Service superintendent, the first African American military attaché, and the highest ranking black officer in the United States Army until his death in 1922.
Young died January 8, 1922 of a kidney infection while on a reconnaissance mission in Nigeria. His body was returned to the United States, where he was given a full military funeral and buried at Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. He had become a public and respected figure because of his unique achievements in the US Army, and his obituary was carried in the New York Times.