The world lost a black pioneer on Wednesday, when retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Lee A. Archer, the only black ace pilot, died at age 90. Archer fought in World War II in the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black fighter pilot group, and the Air Force proclaimed him an ace pilot for downing five enemy planes. After retiring from the military in 1970, Archer worked for General Foods Corp., becoming one of the era's rare black corporate vice presidents. Archer ran North Street Capital Corp., a small business division of General Foods that funded companies including Essence Communications. In later life, he received honors for his work as a pilot, including the Congressional Gold Medal from President Bush in 2007, and a ticket to Obama's 2009 inauguration.
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