Roderick Price was born in Atlanta, GA. He spent the first seven years of his life in Atlanta, GA before moving to Dallas, TX, due to his father's job transfer. While there, he was thrust into an environment of people, customs and expectations that were predominately non-minority. He was the only African American in his new elementary school. While this change was somewhat awkward, he participated in many extracurricular activities including basketball, baseball, and football. Although this could have been a very isolating experience for a seven year old, it actually afforded him invaluable social exposure that ultimately led to adaptive skills that would prove critical in his future.
In 1976, Rod moved to Memphis, TN, where he continued to participate in sports and learned to play trumpet. In 1978, he and his parents finally moved back to Atlanta. Once back on familiar turf, Rod renewed old friendships. He continued to play on various sports teams, and joined several instrumental ensembles, both in his church and at his high school alma mater, Benjamin E. Mays and consistently made the honor roll. It was at Mays high school that one of his classmates shared what he had done over a weekend. He said that he completed his first solo flight. When Rod inquired about how he had the opportunity to fly, his classmate shared that his father was an instructor pilot. Ironically, Rod had always been interested in aviation due to his experiences traveling back and forth between various cities over the years. When his family settled into their new neighborhood, Rod was pleasantly surprised to learn that three of his neighbors were airline pilots for major carriers. This factor along with the interaction with his classmate set the stage for the rest of his professional career. He began taking private flight lessons from his classmate’s father, at seventeen years of age which ultimately prepared him for the eventual challenges that launched him to the next level of aviation.
After graduating high school, Rod was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory school. Accepting this appointment would
have meant an extra year in college and no guarantee of a pilot slot. Instead, he accepted a band scholarship and an eventual Naval R.O.T.C scholarship to attend Morris Brown College. While at Morris Brown, Rod played in the Marching Wolverine Band, was sophomore class Vice- President, Junior Class President, R.O.T.C. Band Commander and in his senior year, Student Government Association President.
Rod graduated from Morris Brown and received his commission, as an officer in the US Navy. He was also selected and received a navy flight school assignment in Pensacola, FL. After successful completion of flight school, he was assigned to the Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, CA. It should be noted that Rod was the first student from Morris Brown College and the Atlanta University Center that would earn Naval Aviation Wings, as a pilot from the Naval ROTC program.
Rod spent seven years flying the T-34c, T-44 and the P-3 Orion. He was awarded Flight Instructor of the Year and opted to transition out of the Navy to more lucrative pastures in the civilian aviation world. He was hired by United Parcel Service (UPS) in 1994 as a flight engineer (B-727), upgraded to first officer (B-757/767) in 1995 and later upgraded to Captain on the Boeing 757/767 in 2001. In 2006 he transitioned to the Boeing MD-11. In 2010, Rod transitioned to the B-747-400 and is currently flying as Captain on that aircraft.
In 2010, Rod accepted the position of Scholarship Committee Chairman of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), formerly known as the Organization of Black Airline Pilots. To date, his committee has awarded over five-hundred thousand dollars worth of scholarships to deserving aviation professionals and students.