John Milton Lee
was a founder of Kappa Alpha Psi
Kappa Alpha Psi is a collegiate Greek-letter fraternity with a predominantly African American membership. Since the fraternity's founding on January 5, 1911 at Indiana University Bloomington, the fraternity has never limited membership based on color, creed or national origin...
Fraternity, Incorporated. He was the fraternity's first Keeper of Records.
Lee was born in Danville, Indiana on September 7, 1890. He attended Danville High School, graduating in 1910. He then entered Indiana University as a pre-med student.
Founding of Kappa Alpha Psi
Lee was a member of the original group of men assembled by Elder Watson Diggs
Elder Watson Diggs was a principal founder of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He was the fraternity's first Polemarch , and received the Laurel Wreath, the highest recognition of achievement bestowed by Kappa Alpha Psi.-Early life:Diggs was born in Madisonville, Kentucky, on December 23,...
that met to discuss the formation of the fraternity that would become Kappa Alpha Psi. On January 5, 1911, the fraternity was officially founded, and Lee was made the first Keeper of Records (or fraternity secretary).
In 1913, Lee left Indiana University to enroll in the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...
. In 1915, he enrolled at Temple University
Temple University is a comprehensive public research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Originally founded in 1884 by Dr. Russell Conwell, Temple University is among the nation's largest providers of professional education and prepares the largest body of professional...
, subsequently withdrawing because of a death in his family. In 1918, he enlisted in the 349th Field Artillery
Field artillery is a category of mobile artillery used to support armies in the field. These weapons are specialized for mobility, tactical proficiency, long range, short range and extremely long range target engagement....
, serving as a Sergeant First Class
Sergeant First Class is the seventh enlisted rank in the U.S. Army, above Staff Sergeant and below Master Sergeant and First Sergeant, and is the first senior non-commissioned officer rank...
and a gunner. Lee's battery was the first all-black battery to open fire on an enemy.
In 1931, Lee married Mary Walker Robinson. He was involved in various enterprises, such as organizing the first African-American golf club in Pennsylvania, organizing and serving as Vice President and Secretary of the Mutual Emergency Union, and serving on the Board of Managers of the Columbia Community Branch of the YMCA.
Lee died on January 8, 1958.