Southwest Airlines first African American Pilot retired after 37 years

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHICAGO -- It was a big day at Southwest Airlines as its first African-American pilot manned the cockpit for the last time.

Captain Lou Freeman retired after 37 years with the airline. He made his final flight home yesterday to Midway Airport.

Freeman joined southwest in 1980, when African-American commercial pilots were even more rare than they are today. Freeman rose to become the first African-American Chief Pilot of any major airline.

He says his mission has been to guide more young African-Americans into the job.