Thomas A. Hart Sr., Howard U. coach, business executive

January 24, 2013

Thomas A. Hart Sr., 93, a former coach and physical education professor at Howard University who later held executive positions with Westinghouse, died Jan. 5 at the Residences at Thomas Circle, a retirement facility in Washington.

He had complications from cholecystitis, a gallbladder condition, said his wife, Gloria Davidson Hart.

Dr. Hart came to Washington in 1948 as a professor of health, physical education and recreation at Howard. During his time at Howard, he was head coach of the basketball, track-and-field and wrestling teams. His wrestling team won a conference title in 1951.

In 1959, Dr. Hart took a two-year leave of absence to help develop Olympic athletes and sports programs in Ghana.

He left Howard in 1964 to join Westinghouse, first as director of a job-training center in Indiana, for which he received the company’s highest employee award.

He returned to Washington in 1974 as director of community services for Westinghouse and as a public affairs executive. He often worked closely with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He retired in 1989.

Thomas Alexander Hart was born in Williamstown, Mass. He was a 1942 graduate of New York University. While serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II, he received a master’s degree in health and physical education in 1945 from the University of Illinois. He received a doctorate in education from NYU in 1958.

He served on the boards of charitable, athletic and educational organizations, including the national board of the YMCA and the board of trustees of the University of the District of Columbia. He was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Pigskin Club of Washington and the Howard University athletic Hall of Fame. He also received a humanitarian award from the African American Golfers Hall of Fame.

Dr. Hart was a past president of a local chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and was a member of the NAACP and the Urban League. He was a Presbyterian church elder and a member of Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church and Northminster Presbyterian Church, both in the District.

His first wife, Adalyne Monroe Hart, died in 1992 after 45 years of marriage.

Survivors include his wife since 2007, Gloria Davidson Hart of Washington; three children from his first marriage, Brenda Hart of Louisville, Elaine Hart Brothers of Durham, N.C., and Thomas A. Hart Jr. of Washington; a stepson, Michael A. Davidson of Jonesboro, Ga.; a brother; eight grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

— Matt Schudel

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