O.L. “Sonny” Lawson: Co-owned the First Black Pharmacy in Denver, Co – The Radio Pharmacy

0 Posted by - September 7, 2018 - Black First, Black History, LATEST POSTS

Oglesvie L. “Sonny” Lawson was a co-owner of the Radio Pharmacy in Denver, Colorado. He was also known for his role as a district executive for the Democratic Party, a position he held for more than a decade. The Radio Pharmacy was located in Five Points at East 26th and Welton streets. The Radio Pharmacy was a successful business for more than 50 years.

Lawson was born in Denver on September 12, 1893. He grew up in West Denver,  where he attended Cheltenham Elementary and East Denver High School. After graduating high school, he studied at the Northwestern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 1913.

After completing his studies, Lawson returned to Denver and received his pharmacist’s license in 1919. At first, he worked for the Western Chemical Corporation and later was a clerk in the county assessor’s office. In 1923 he formed a partnership with Hulett A. Maxwell and opened the first black-owned pharmacy in Five Points at 2601 Welton Street.

Lawson often used his influence to help create jobs for African Americans. He made sure politicians followed up on their campaign promises.
On August 9, 1972, the park at 24th and Welton Streets became the first park in Denver to be dedicated to an African American – The Sonny Lawson Park. The park’s early history hosted Negro League games; it was the first ball field in Denver to do so. Oglesvie Lawson passed away July 14, 1969.




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