Theophilus “Theo” Logan
Helping Others Build Generational Wealth
Born 1917 in Lima, Oklahoma, Theophilus Alonzo Logan’s love for San Diego began in his youth when he formed fond memories of the city while visiting his grandparents in the 1920s. “Theo”, as he is affectionately known, graduated with a liberal arts degree in 1939 from Lincoln University, a historically Black college in Pennsylvania and moved to San Diego two years later.
Theo was drafted into a segregated army in 1942 and was selected to attend the Infantry Officers Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Thereafter, he was assigned to the 92nd Buffalo Infantry Division-365th Combat Regiment, an all-Black division. He went on to serve foreign tours of duty in Italy, Germany, Japan, and Korea, and served as Assistant Professor of Military Science at Lincoln University, Missouri. It was there he met and married his wife, Martha R. Nash, who was also an instructor at Lincoln University. Theo retired from the US Army in 1962, after 20 years of service with the rank of Major. He and Martha and their two small children then moved to San Diego and made their home in Southeast San Diego.
Theo entered the real estate business in 1962, and in 1965 opened Logan Real Estate. Through his tenacity he successfully negotiated with county officials to change the property address from 836 South 45th Street to 4490 Logan Avenue, the home of Logan Real Estate. The real estate office became a landmark in the Southeast Community, primarily serving the homeownership needs of the African American and Hispanic American communities. As a real estate broker, Theo knew the importance of investing in real estate. His greatest goal was always to help people achieve their dream of owning a home. He encouraged many who thought homeownership was beyond their ability by educating them in the process and helping them realize homeownership was within their reach.
At a time when there was “Red Lining” and traditional banks refused loans to Blacks and others who were under-represented in the home-buying market, Theo fought to secure FHA and VA loans. To better expand housing opportunities, Theo joined the San Diego Board of Realtors in 1965, (today’s Greater SD Association of Realtors) becoming the first African American member of the board. He served in various capacities as a member, including several terms as a director. In 1978 Theo was elected as the first African American to serve as President of the San Diego Board of Realtors.
Theo retired from real estate in 2011 after 49 years of dedicated service to the community and an unwavering desire to help African Americans and Hispanic Americans build generational wealth through homeownership.