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Unsung Heroes

Recognizing the Unsung Heroes

Inspired by the heroism of Charles Jackson French, this project seeks to remember and recognize individuals in underrepresented populations whose significant achievements have been overlooked.

Students and community groups will articulate and amplify these stories, inspiring others to highlight historical figures whose stories have been passed over.

This project extends beyond Creighton’s campus. We welcome all communities to participate and nominate individuals. Do you know of someone who is an Unsung Hero?

Nominate Your Unsung Hero Today

Questions? Email Us

Charles Jackson French’s Legacy

The Unsung Heroes project is inspired by the heroism of Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Jackson French.

French saved the lives of his shipmates after their destroyer was sunk near Guadalcanal in September 1942. A Navy mess steward, French swam for several hours through shark-infested waters while towing a lifeboat filled with wounded comrades.

His story was widely told at the time and French, then 22, was called “the hero of the Solomon Islands.”

An African American, French had been recommended by his commander for a Navy Cross, the Navy’s second-highest award for valor. But at a time of prejudice and discrimination in the U.S. military and elsewhere, French received only a letter of commendation.

French’s selfless valor has inspired people for 80 years, but as time has passed too many have forgotten or were not aware of his extraordinary efforts. We hope to bring his heroic story—and others like his—to light.

Charles Jackson French at stadium event

Unsung Heroes Nomination Process

Creighton faculty, staff and students will join together with community members to research and elevate the stories of individuals who, like French, have engaged in significant or heroic actions, but whose stories have been mostly lost to history due to their marginalized social status. Our aim is to engage community partners to identify, reveal and celebrate stories of these Unsung Heroes.

Please fill out our nomination form to tell us about Unsung Heroes you know. From these submissions, Creighton University and Creighton students will engage in further research that will result in the creation of an archive to commemorate and celebrate the accomplishments of these Unsung Heroes.

Nominate Your Unsung Hero Today