James William Lucus (1895-1986) received his high school diploma in 1915 at Tuskegee Institute from the late Booker T. Washington, then principal. In 1918 he joined the United States Army Corps of Engineers and after serving in World War I, he went on to study engineering at the Lewis Institute. Finding it difficult to find a professional job as a black engineer, Lucus earned a teaching certificate and a bachelors degree at the University of Chicago. He taught engineering and physics at Dusable High School, in Chicago, for 26 years. He was active in the Chicago West Side NAACP chapter and various community organizations, including serving as vice president of the Physics Club of Chicago.