Pioneering Pilot Buried on Coast

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Retired Air Force Col. Lawrence Roberts, one of the nation's first black military pilots and the father of ABC News anchor Robin Roberts, was buried Friday with full military honors at the Biloxi National Cemetery.

The 81-year-old Roberts died Tuesday in Biloxi. Roberts had lived in Biloxi and Pass Christian for the past 35 years.

Roberts attended Howard University, received a bachelor's degree from Morningside College and a masters degree from Tuskegee Institute. He entered the U.S. Army Air corps as a private and he retired from the Air Force as a colonel. He was a graduate of the 44-K class of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen.

Roberts' first assignment was the pilot training program at Tuskegee Army Air Field where he graduated as a second lieutenant and was assigned to the 477th Medium Bombardment Group, and later the 332nd fighter wing.

His daughter, Robin, was born in Tuskegee, Ala., and now lives in New York. She was one of the first and most prominent female sports anchors on ESPN before going to ABC.

Other survivors include his wife, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts; two daughters, a son, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.