Louis ‘Lou’ Dale Sharp became the first African American state trooper in 1955. He graduated from Ohio’s 44th Academy class and joined the team of Ohio State Highway troopers.
Born in Columbus, Ohio on April 4, 1932, Sharp was awarded a scholarship to Florida A&M University to play football under legendary coach Jake Gaither after graduating from Columbus East High School in 1950.
Graduating with a B.A. in Physical Education, he returned to Columbus to continue his education at The Ohio State University, where he received his M.S. in Education.
Following his trailblazing commissioning as the first African American State trooper in 1955, he was said to be part of a team of 700 troopers of the Ohio State Highway Police. (OSHP).
After nine months with the OSHP, he left the patrol for a different career opportunity to spend time with his growing family, but he stayed actively involved in the community. He became an educator and a principal at Pope John XXIII/Holy Rosary and other educational institutions within Ohio.
Dale Sharp at some point was elected the mayor of Urbancrest, OH, and was engaged in several charitable boards and civic associations throughout his generous life. Inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame, Sharp died at the age of 85 on May 7, 2017.
“The Ohio State Highway Patrol is mourning the passing of Patrolman Louis Sharp, known as a pioneer, mentor, and friend,” the OSHP said of Dale Sharp, adding: “The late Lieutenant Colonel Floyd C. Moon described Patrolman Sharp as a man of strength, easily completing all aspects of his training.”