The first African American Air Force Academy graduate passed away Monday in his Montana home.

According to the academy, Charles Vernon Bush was a member of the class of 1963 and was a squadron commander, a member of the debate team and the Cadet Wing champion rugby team.
After graduating from the academy and then receiving a master’s degree from Georgetown University, Bush attended Air Intelligence Officers School and served at Westover Air Force Base where he taught political science courses at American International College.

He later became fluent in Vietnamese and was assigned as an intelligence officer to Vietnam in 1967. There he was responsible for the deployment and operations of six intelligence teams. In 1970, Bush resigned his commission and attended Harvard Business School. For the rest of his professional life, he was a corporate executive for several companies including Merrill Lynch-White Weld Capital Group, Max Factor, and Hughes Electronics.

He was also a guest lecturer at the academy and was a diversity consultant for the academy and the rest of the Air Force.