Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Leonidas Dixon Coates Jr. ’26
After graduating, Coates was admitted to the Naval Academy where he was commissioned in 1930. This comment appears under his photo in the Academy’s 1930 yearbook: “If all the girls had cheeks like Willie’s, the manufacturers of cosmetics would all go bankrupt.” He then earned a Master of Science in Engineering Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 1939. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1942, to Captain in 1948, and to Rear Admiral in 1956 when he became the Deputy Chief of Naval Research. He served as the Chief of Naval Research from 1961 to 1964, the year he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work in Naval Research. He died in 1989.
Thirty-five years after he was graduated from Tech, Rear Admiral Leonidas D. Coates, Jr., USN, returned for a press conference in his honor. The Admiral grinned as he told student reporters, “The last time I walked through this door, it wasn’t reported in Scribe News!” (Talisman, 1962)