TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Ben Fitzgerald joined the Navy in 1943, right out of high school. His first assignment was as a "torpedo man" aboard the destroyer the "Chew" out of Honolulu.
Ironically, Fitzgerald's next assignment was aboard a submarine tender. While the destroyer's job was to destroy submarines, the submarine tender's job was to aid submarines.
Fitzgerald returned home in 1946, but the only job he could find was picking cotton. As with many veterans of World War Two, it was the G.I. Bill of Rights which provided him with the opportunity to get a college education, that determined his future.
After college and a few years teaching agriculture, Fitzgerald returned to East Texas to establish Ben Fitzgerald Realty, one of the premiere real estate companies in East Texas. At the age of 87, Fitzgerald is still active in real estate.