WASHINGTON (AP) — Charles L. Gittens, the first black Secret Service agent, has died. He was 82.
The McGuire Funeral Home in Washington confirmed that Gittens died July 27. A spokesman for the agency confirmed that Gittens was the first black agent, but said no further details would be immediately available.
According to an obituary in the Herald-Sun of Durham, N.C., Gittens became the first black special agent in 1956 in the Charlotte, N.C. office. He retired from the agency in 1979.
Danny Spriggs, vice president of global security for The Associated Press, calls Gittens “just an outstanding guy” and said he mentored young African-Americans like him who were coming up through the ranks.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)