Captain Roscoe Edwards

Roscoe S. Edwards was born on July 11, 1948 in Austin, TX. As a young man he attended Texas Southern University, an HBCU institution, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Airway Science Management. He has come full circle after a remarkable aviation career and is now a faculty member at Texas Southern University. Captain Edwards is now the Director of Flight Operations of the aviation program. He currently resides in Houston, TX with his wife of 46 years, Dorothy Edwards who is a retired assistant police chief from the Houston Police department after 35 years. 

Together they have three sons consisting of an aircraft mechanic with United Airlines, a Dr. of Pharmacist at Ben Taube hospital and a West Point graduate who is a Lt. Col in the JAG. They also have 4 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. Captain Edwards has been recognized with numerous awards and commendations for his work in the aviation industry and in his community.

Captain Edwards is the definition of the word Pioneer. CAP, as those who know him refer him to, has been a true legend in his own right. To name a few of highlights from his distinguish career. Capt. Edwards began his aviation career after obtaining his flight ratings with Britt Airways. He was the first African American Pilot hired at Britt Airways and upgraded to Captain in three months. Capt. Edwards flew with Britt Airways until joining Orion Air flying freight on the DC-9. Because of his fire and determination to see more minorities have access and exposure to a field that had long been denied to African Americans, Capt. Edwards and his wife used their personal finances to purchase a Cessna 150 Aircraft and started the first African American nonprofit flight school in the Southwest Region.

Along with this endeavor Roscoe found the time to become a designated pilot examiner for the FAA. He was the first African American examiner in the Southwest Region. Capt. Edwards was hired by Continental Airlines in 1987 and spent 25 very successful years as a pilot with Continental Airlines. During that time, Roscoe was instrumental in numerous endeavors. Roscoe was selected to participate in the hiring process at Continental, giving him the opportunity to help ensure the hiring of minority pilots. He helped increase the minority hiring significantly.

With the help of management, Roscoe was able to establish the Niscey Osborne scholarship, which awarded scholarships to pilots seeking employment at CA. Capt. Edwards was instrumental in getting Continental to honor Captain Marlin Green (the first African American pilot to be hired by a U.S. career) by dedicating aircraft N77518 to Capt. Green. Capt. Edwards was also part of the team of OBAP members and the Kellogg Foundation to develop an abinito flight training program at Western Michigan University. This program has been able to place a majority of the students in careers as pilots with numerous airlines. Roscoe continues to strive for diversity and growth in aviation; he has joined his Alma Mater, Texas Southern University as Director of Flight Operations. Texas Southern University’s Aviation Program has achieved certification as a part 141 school in February 2014.

Return to full list of PIONEERS IN AVIATION