The long-time U.S. Congressman from Manhattan enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1948 after dropping out of high school. During the Korean War, Rangel served with the all-black 503rd Field Artillery Battalion in the 2nd Infantry Division. During the fierce Battle of Kunu-ri in November 1950, the Chinese Army encircled Rangel and 40 of his fellow soldiers. Despite sustaining shrapnel wounds, Rangel led his comrades to safety from behind enemy lines. Rangel’s actions earned him the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for Valor. After the war, he completed high school and became a lawyer and civil rights activist before winning a congressional seat in 1970.
We honor you, Charles Rangel.