San Diego real estate pioneer honored on MLK Day

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A man who paved the way for Black and other minority families to own homes in San Diego received the YMCA’S prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award Monday.

Theophilus Logan says hearing Dr. King speak in person decades ago at a convention in Washington D.C. was life changing.

“And I have always since then wanted to do something to emulate Dr. King,” Logan said.

He did just that in San Diego when he opened his own real estate office more than 50 years ago.

At the time, minorities and persons of color had difficulties and challenges getting a mortgage from a commercial bank. But Logan helped mostly black families secure home loans through sources such as government programs. With his guidance, they bought their first homes in neighborhoods such as Logan Heights, building generational wealth.

“In the 60s, what could a home in San Diego have cost? And what’s the value today? That’s what Theo Logan has done to really truly impact San Diego County and people of color,” said Michael Brunker, the former executive director at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA.

In 1978, Logan became the first African American president of what’s now called the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. But on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he received what he called his prestigious award in his 104 years on this Earth: The 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award. The Jackie Robinson Family YMCA presents it each year to individuals who reflect Dr. King’s principles and ideals in both philosophy and action.

This year, it honored Logan and Dr. Suzanne Afflalo, a family physician and medical director of the Alliance Health Clinic.

Logan received the award in the community room of his Bankers Hill condo building due to the ceremony being virtual this year.

“It’ll always be a member of my family and I hope that I merit what you have given me,” Logan said.

The impact of his work continues to grow along with San Diego’s exploding real estate market.

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