Andrew A. Best

Kinston, NC

Board of Trustees

United States Army

1943-1946, 1951-1954

Italy, United States, Korea

A native of Lenoir County, North Carolina, Best was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 and served with distinction on the battlefields of Europe with the 92nd Infantry Division where he was awarded a Bronze Star for valor under enemy fire in the Po valley of Italy. Upon his discharge and return to the US, he enrolled at Meharry Medical College in Tennessee. In 1951, Best reentered military service, completing his medical residency in Washington State and at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. After his discharge in 1954, he moved to Greenville, NC and began what would become a life-long pursuit of social and civic improvement. Owing his successful desegregation of area medical facilities and his knowledge of the community, Dr. Best was asked by Dr. Leo Jenkins to assist with the desegregation of East Carolina. Best personally selected Laura Marie Leary of Vanceboro as the first non-white admitted to regular courses at East Carolina in the Fall of 1963.