William Pinkney Death, Obituary – Our hearts are heavy as we come to terms with the loss of our dear friend and an extraordinary adventurer, Captain William Pinkney. He left us on August 32, 2023, while working on a documentary project in Atlanta. At the age of 87, he leaves behind a legacy of remarkable achievements and a spirit that touched the lives of many.
Captain Pinkney made history in 1992 when he became the first Black American to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world, sailing via the treacherous routes of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. His pioneering journey earned him the title of Yachtsman of the Year from the Chicago Yacht Club in the same year. In 1999, Chicago magazine recognized his exceptional contributions by naming him one of Chicago’s People of the Year.
His dedication to sailing and exploration led to his induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, a testament to his remarkable achievements in the world of maritime adventures. He was also honored with The America and the Sea Award by Mystic Seaport Museum on October 26, 2022.
Beyond his incredible accomplishments, Captain Pinkney was an author, motivational speaker, and Master Emeritus of the freedom schooner AMISTAD. His life was a testament to a core philosophy that he often shared during his speaking engagements: “If you have a dream and are willing to prepare yourself, commit to it, and never give up, you can make it become a reality.”
During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Captain Pinkney was eager to explore new horizons, as demonstrated when he expressed interest in piloting a sailing expedition to the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior. His enthusiasm for the project was palpable, and it serves as a reminder of his enduring adventurous spirit.
As we bid farewell to Captain William Pinkney, we wish him smooth sailing into the great beyond. He leaves behind an indelible mark on our hearts and a legacy that will continue to inspire generations to come. Rest in power, dear friend! #unhiddenblackhistory