Distinguished Hawkeye helped advance racial equality in the US

Luther Smith, a decorated World War II veteran, was one of the first African American students to receive an engineering degree from the University of Iowa

Luther Smith’s contributions and achievements over his 89 years were many. As one of the pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen, he was a decorated World War II hero. He experienced discrimination throughout his life, especially after the war when he worked as an aerospace engineer—a time when few black men or women held such positions.