Meet Marvin Gilmore

Meet Marvin Gilmore The 99-Year-Old Man Who Was One Of The First Black Men To Land On Utah Beach During Weeks Of The D-Day Invasion In WWII

Carrying On His Mother’s Lessons Of Love And Positivity

At age 99, Marvin Gilmore still carries the advice his mother gave him as a child growing up in the segregated America of the early 20th century.

She taught him to “love, not hate” and “do your best, think positive, learn how to be somebody.” Gilmore took those lessons with him from his Louisiana hometown all the way to the shores of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Answering The Call For A Segregated Army

As one of the first African American soldiers to storm Utah Beach on D-Day, Gilmore bore witness to the harrowing carnage of war.

Though often overlooked in popular depictions, he and other Black troops provided essential support despite facing discrimination from white superiors and peers. For his courage under fire, Gilmore earned several honors, including four Battle Stars and the French Legion of Honor.

From GI To Civil Rights Icon

After surviving D-Day, Gilmore returned home still in a separate but unequal America. He became a leader in the civil rights movement and entrepreneurship, co-founding Boston’s first Black-owned commercial bank in 1968.

Now, Marvin Gilmore’s inspirational journey from his ancestors’ slavery to activist and community pillar is memorialized in the book “Crusader for Freedom.”

At nearly 100 years old, Marvin Gilmore stands as a link from the Black soldiers of WWII to today’s ongoing movement for equality. With grace, tenacity and love learned from his mother, his lifetime has modeled the ceaseless pursuit of positive progress.