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NSA Historical Figures

Bernard Pryor

Bernard W. Pryor is believed to be the first African-American hired by the Army's Signal Intelligence Service. He had been a motorcycle messenger with the Navy Department when he began his career in 1939 as a messenger with Signal Intelligence Service. By mid-1943, Mr. Pryor was the senior messenger of 15 people. In 1944, he moved to the personnel department most likely to assist the Blacks that were being hired in increasing numbers. He remained in personnel until he retired in 1965.