Christopher McGlone was born in Norfolk to Christopher and Susie McGlone in 1934. McGlone graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1951 and enlisted in the Army for the duration of the Korean War. In 1954, he returns to Norfolk, but begins college at Virginia Union University in Richmond shortly thereafter. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology Education in 1959, having been on the football and track teams. He was a member of the NAACP, the Kappa Gamma Chi Debating Society, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. McGlone was also in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, originally founded at Howard University in 1911, and the Tidewater Club, a social organization for students from Tidewater Virginia to maintain ties to their homes.
In 1965, he graduated as a Doctor of Optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry. Though his class photograph above does not exhibit much diversity, the school was one of the first accredited colleges to hire a Black optometrist, Dr. Junius Brodnax, as a faculty member in 1949. McGlone married Dorothy Lee Bowman in 1966, and they settled in Norfolk where he opened an optometry practice. By 1981, he was the Chief of Optometry at the United States Army Hospital at Fort Monroe, a position he held until he retired in 1999. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 73 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.
McGlone’s story is another one located by our staff in the local Fort Monroe newspaper, The Casemate. He is mentioned briefly in regards to a new method used to test for glaucoma, but otherwise the article contains little about his work at Fort Monroe. Dr. McGlone’s history is interesting in that his youth is well-documented due to his football career in both high school and college. Newspaper articles in Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News, Virginia discuss his exploits on the football field. Additionally, the Virginia Union University archive was happy to share information regarding Christopher McGlone’s years attending the school. It is his later work as an optometrist that eludes our researchers. Luckily it wasn’t so long ago that Dr. McGlone might have been your optometrist! If you would like to share, please add to the story here.
Fort Monroe Authority. “Christopher Anderson McGlone, Jr.” May 16, 2023. [access date]. [URL].