Race and Ethnicity: White - Starting with L

Luciano, Charles “Lucky”

aka: Salvatore Lucania
Charles “Lucky” Luciano was an Italian-American gangster who was said by the FBI to be the man who “organized” organized crime in the United States. In many ways, he was the model for the character Don Corleone in the popular book and movie, The Godfather (1972). He evaded arrest and survived attempted gangland assassinations only to meet his downfall in 1936 while vacationing in Hot Springs (Garland County). Luciano was born Salvatore Lucania on November 24, 1897, in Lercara Friddi, Sicily, the third of five children to Antonio Lucania and Rosalie Capporelli Lucania. His mother kept house, and his father worked in the sulfur mines as well as doing whatever work he could find in the poor hillside village near …

Luckinbill, Laurence

aka: Laurence George Luckinbill
Laurence George Luckinbill’s acting career extends through theater, television, and motion pictures. His career has ranged from soap operas to a Tony-nominated role in the play The Shadow Box (1977) and a co-starring role as Sybok in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989). Laurence Luckinbill was born in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) on November 21, 1934, to Laurence Benedict Luckinbill, a salesman for Oklahoma Tire and Supply Co., and Agnes Luckinbill. He graduated from St. Anne’s High School in Fort Smith and then attended Fort Smith Junior College (now the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith) before going to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), graduating in 1955 with a degree in theater. After this, he …

Lum and Abner

From 1931 to 1955, the Lum and Abner radio show brought the town of Pine Ridge (Montgomery County), into the homes of millions of listeners across the country. During World War II, Armed Forces Radio took Lum and Abner around the world. Chester “Chet” Lauck and Findley Norris “Tuffy” Goff, two young comedians from Mena (Polk County), created the characters when they were invited to appear on a statewide flood relief broadcast over KTHS radio in Hot Springs (Garland County) on April 26, 1931. Seconds before being introduced, they created the names Lum Edwards (pronounced “Eddards”) for Lauck and Abner Peabody for Goff. The two old codgers (Lauck and Goff were actually in their late twenties) ran the Jot ‘Em …

Lyle, Lewis Elton (Lew)

A native of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Major General Lewis Elton Lyle of the U.S. Air Force began his military flying career as a B-17 bomber pilot in the European Theater during World War II. He flew more combat missions than any other lead pilot and was one of the war’s most decorated aviators. Lewis Lyle was born on June 22, 1916, to Lewis Eley Lyle and Nellie West Lyle in Pine Bluff; he had a younger sister. After graduating with honors from what is now Ouachita Baptist University in 1938, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry Reserve. He began active duty in December 1940 as an anti-tank company officer. In May 1941, he …

Lynch, Joseph Patrick (Pat)

Joseph Patrick (Pat) Lynch of Little Rock (Pulaski County) was a longtime Arkansas radio personality, newspaper columnist, and advocate of civil liberties. His popular talk show in the 1980s and 1990s on Little Rock radio station KARN attracted guests including major politicians and other public figures who discussed both local and national issues. Lynch was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), representing Arkansas on the ACLU’s national board of directors from 1989 to 1995. Pat Lynch was born in Mobile, Alabama, on August 5, 1950. His parents were homemaker Dorothy Rodwell Lynch and Joseph Richard Lynch, who worked for the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad. He grew up in Mobile, where he attended McGill High School, a …

Lyon, Aaron Woodruff

Aaron Woodruff Lyon was an early Arkansas settler and pioneer educator who founded the first academy to be chartered by the state of Arkansas and was instrumental in the development of Batesville in Independence County and Elizabeth in Jackson County. Aaron Lyon was born on July 11, 1797, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the son of Aaron and Joanna Hatfield Lyon. During the War of 1812, he served in Captain Altman’s Pennsylvania Militia. In 1824, he graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He entered Princeton Theological Seminary in 1825 and completed the full three-year curriculum. After completing his studies in 1828, his health forced him to move south. Lyon accompanied Major Edward Duval to Lower Township (Crawford County), where …

Lyon, Matthew

Matthew Lyon, a six-term congressman who represented first Vermont and later Kentucky, was an iconic figure in the early American republic. Always outspoken, he frequently found himself at the center of the early battles between the Federalist Party and his own Jeffersonian Republicans (a.k.a. the Democrat-Republican Party or Republican Party). After a tumultuous multifaceted career in Congress, Lyon spent his final years in Arkansas, where he had moved in 1820 after his appointment as U.S. factor to the Cherokee Nation in the Arkansas Territory. Matthew Lyon was born on July 14, 1749, in Ireland, not far from Dublin. His father, a political protestor, was killed when Lyon was a young boy. He received his early education in Dublin, where he …

Lyons, Eugene Aloysius (Gene)

Eugene Aloysius (Gene) Lyons is an award-winning author, columnist, and political commentator who lives in Arkansas and wrote a nationally syndicated column for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, among other publications. He is author of several books and co-author of The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton (2000), which was made into a documentary film in 2004. Gene Lyons was born on September 20, 1943, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Eugene Aloysius Lyons Jr., an insurance clerk, and Helen Sheedy Lyons, a typist. For a time, Lyons’s father also ran a Dairy Queen. Lyons attended Chatham High School in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University, also in New Jersey, in 1965 with a degree …