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Vincent R. Stewart

January 23: Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart became the 20th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency of the United States making him the first African-American man to hold the position. Stewart is also the first Marine Corps director to lead the agency and previously served as the head of Marine Forces Cyber.

Intelligence Leaders Testify At House Hearing On World Wide Cyber Threats
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart testifies about “world wide cyber threats” during an open hearing of the House (Select) Intelligence Committee at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center September 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Wendell Scott

January 30: Scott, who was the first African-American driver in NASCAR, became the first African-American to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year. He was also the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series.

Wendell Scott - NASCAR 1973

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LOOKING BACK: Breaking Barriers: African-American Firsts In 2015  was originally published on

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