Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

James Credle

James Credle was born on February 7, 1945, in Mesic, North Carolina. He graduated from Pamlico County Training School in 1962, then moved to Newark, New Jersey, for a job at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lyons, New Jersey, where he worked for three years. In 1965, he was drafted into the army and served for two years in Vietnam as a medic for the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.


Credle returned to Newark in 1967 and returned to work at the Veteran's Administration hospital while attending Rutgers University - Newark, where he received a B.A. in sociology and belonged to the Black Organization of Students (BOS). As a BOS member, he participated in an occupation of Conklin Hall, protesting for increased opportunities and access for marginalized people on campus.


After graduation in 1972, Credle became the director of the Rutgers-Newark Office of Veterans Affairs, then the assistant dean of student affairs at Rutgers-Newark (1976-2009). He was active in several local and national organizations for veterans and in the LGBT community. In 1992, he started the Fireball, a ballroom competition to raise money for HIV/AIDS education. He was also a founding member and co-chair of the National Association of Black and White Men Together and New York Men of All Colors Together, two organizations that worked to combat racism, homophobia, and sexism and provide spaces for multicultural, anti-racist organizing and social activities. He was also a founding member of the Newark Pride Alliance in 2006 and a member of the Newark Commission on LGBT Concerns.


Credle passed away in 2023 at the age of 78. He is mentioned in Queer Newark, 1885-present, by Timothy Stewart-Winter and Whitney Strub.