Lee Roy Young Jr, The First African-American to Become a Texas Ranger

Written by Jae Jones

Jr. was the first African-American Texas ranger in the modern history of the force’s existence. Young was born in Del Rio, Texas on January 8th, 1947.  He grew up in Brackettville, 30 miles east of Del Rio, where he attended school until he was a sophomore in high school. He then moved to Del Rio to live with his grandparents and that is where he finished high school. Young grew up in South Texas with the dream of joining the force agency which was often popularized by television, movies and books.


The rangers were created back in 1823 by Stephen F. Austin, to protect over 500 settlers against Indians. One August 10, 1823, permission was granted to employ 10 men from a group of volunteers to protect the new Texas frontier. Young, who had forensics background was able to use hypnotism to retrieve witness memories for investigations.

In an interview conducted by Nancy Ray, from the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, Young was asked how well he was accepted by the other rangers and he had this to say: “Uh I was accepted, I think, from day one by the Rangers. I never had a problem with any of the Rangers and I think there might have been some apprehensions there at first and uh, in as to how me, or maybe well even another person would be accepted by the Rangers. But I think due to the fact that uh all Rangers entered the Rangers through the same process, and I didn’t skip that process. And uh you know I had to serve my time on the road like everyone else. And uh had to go through the trials and tribulations there of being a trooper and being a Highway Patrolman. And then competing in the promotion process, taking the test and then scoring high enough on the test to appear before the oral board, and then being approved or accepted by that oral board. And uh so I never had no problem say from Rangers in, from the time that I first went into the Rangers.” Visit here to read more about the interview… (Texas Ranger Hall of Fame)

Lee Roy Although, Lee Roy Young Jr. rose to great fame, he did not want to be well-known because of making ranger as the first man, however he wanted to be known for his work and the many cases he solved. Young retired from being a Texas Ranger in 2003.,%20Lee.pdf

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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