By Aria Brent,
AFRO Staff Writer
After a lifetime of accolades, Brig.Gen. Enoch “Woody” Woodhouse is not done succeeding.
Throughout his life he has had many accomplishments. The 96-year-old is documented as an original Tuskegee Airmen, a graduate of Yale University and a legal professional who opened his own law practice in 1960. Although Woodhouse is up in age, his most recent achievement makes it clear that he is not ready to slow down just yet.
Out of the 15,000 original Tuskegee Airmen, it’s estimated that fewer than 75 of them are still living, however both Woodhouse and the impact he’s made are standing strong. His legacy in the U.S military is rich and undeniably patriotic. So much, that it has led him to being awarded an honorary doctorate from Norwich University, the oldest U.S private military college in the country.
“He is much beloved. He has a great military heritage, and he’s one of the original Tuskegee Airmen,” stated Mark Anarumo, Ph.D, president of Norwich University, when explaining how Woodhouse was chosen for this honor. “He’s just an incredible gentleman that owns every room he is in.”
Woodhouse’s journey in the military wasn’t one that was always pleasant. Enlisting in the military at age 17, he joined the armed forces at a time when segregation was well and alive. Despite the obstacles he faced due to racism, Woodhouse continued to flourish as a Tuskegee Airman. Brig. Gen Woodhouse was not a pilot but served as paymaster for the Tuskegee Airmen. His hard work has not gone unnoticed.
Woodhouse was one of the many Tuskegee Airmen that received the Congressional Gold Medal from President George W. Bush in 2007. In addition to this, in 2022 at the reveal of a Tuskegee Airmen mural in the Boston Logan International Airport, Woodhouse was named Full Colonel, as the attache to the militia of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, by Gov. Charlie Baker. Soon following this he was promoted to Brigadier General– something that rarely happens after a service member has retired.
Known for his intellect and charm, Woodhouse speaks German, French and has an affection for classical Italian literature. With degrees from both Yale and Boston University’s school of Law, he is both well cultured and educated.
Anarumo spoke to this point, exclaiming “I could tell 100 stories about being in his presence and how he’s elevating without being condescending. He’s approachable and charming. But as I said, he is still at this moment– at 96– one of the most intelligent human beings I have ever interacted with. He’s extremely well read and one of the few people I think on the planet anymore that can speak not modern Italian, but classical Italian.”
It seems that Woodhouse can be described in many ways; well read, well accomplished but most importantly, well deserving of this honor.