Obituary for Dr. Henry Lucas
Dr. Henry Lucas, a renowned dentist, longtime Republican and confidant of President Ronald Reagan, died Tuesday (June 2) after suffering a stroke. He was 77 years of age.
Dr. Lucas was the Second Vice Chair on Charles Drew University’s Board of Trustees, serving since 2002. He was also active with Meharry Medical College and the Institute for Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine.
“His immense contributions to our university over the last several years have played a critical role in our institutional growth and national acclaim,” said Bart Williams, Esq., Chairman of the Board of Trustees at CDU. “He was a dear friend to many of us and we will miss him.”
Born on February 27, 1932 in Rahway, New Jersey, Dr. Henry Lucas attended Howard University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of science in 1957. He studied dentistry at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee in 1960, and later completed post graduate studies in orthodontics at the University of Pacific in 1972.
He served as a dentist in the Air Force before going into private practice as a dental surgeon. In San Francisco, he founded the Sutter Place Dental Group, his own private practice.
In 1966, he was recognized as one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America” and nearly four decades later he was honored as one of the top dentists in the United States. He was included in the publication Guide to America’s Top Dentists by the Consumers Research Council of America.
He was a past president of the Dental Board of California, the agency that licenses all California dentists, and a fellow of the American Academy of General Dentistry and a member of the American Cosmetic Dentistry.
In 1981, President Regan appointed Lucas to the President’s Commission on (Iran) Hostage Compensation. Reagan later appointed him to the President’s Private Sector Initiative Task Force and the Department of Transportation Committee. In 1997, Dr. Lucas endowed the Henry Lucas, DDS Scholarship Fund at Meharry Medical College to assist promising dental students.
“He was extremely proud of his relationship with President Reagan and how he was able to leverage that relationship to benefit minority health education,” said Dr. Henry W. Foster, CDU’s First Vice Chair.
“He was a Republican, but he was a Republican for Obama,” said Dr. Kim Benton, Lucas’ daughter, who is also a dentist.
An avid skier, Lucas considered winter his favorite time of the year and enjoyed vacationing in France.
“If he had his choice, he would have gone skiing in the mountains,” said Dr. Benton.
She said his favorite saying was “It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” Macaroni and collard greens were two of his favorite sides, according to a biography website.
Besides his mother, Margaret Lucas Stockley; Lucas is survived by his sister, Vivian Hurling; brother, Marvin Lucas; daughters Karen Lucas Brown and Kim Lucas Benton; son Kyle Lucas; and five grand children.
Dr. Kim Lucas Benton said the family plans to hold a “going home celebration” for her father in August. She asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to PACT, Inc., an organization Dr. Lucas co-founded to help students plan for college. The organization’s website is: www.pactinc.org.htm
Dr. Henry Lucas dies at 77; Republican activist was one of first
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
John L. Mitchell
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