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Pullman Porter

OW Staff | 6/2/2010, 5 p.m.

Lee Wesley Gibson, who celebrated his 100th birthday recently at the Proud Bird Restaurant with more than 200 family members and friends, stands by a poster depicting photos of him when he was a Pullman Porter, which was displayed in the lobby at his birthday celebration in Los Angeles. He is currently the oldest living Pullman Porter.

Gibson received guests dressed in his trademark style--wearing a blue designer suit and tie, a custom white dress shirt with his initials embroidered on one cuff and "100" on the other. In recognition of his birthday, he received gifts and plaques from the USA Railroad Retirement Board as well as the Union Pacific Black Employees Network, American Association of Retired People, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 44th President of the United States of America--Barack Obama.

Gibson was born on May 21, 1910 in Keatchie, LA. When he was a young boy, his family moved to Marshall, Texas. There, he attended school and later married Beatrice A. Gibson in 1927. The young couple moved their family to Los Angeles in 1936. They were married 76 years before her death. Gibson retired from Union Pacific Railroad in 1974, after serving for 38 years as a Pullman Porter.

The father of four daughters is still active and continues to drive.