In recognition of Minority Health Month, Nevada Partners and the West Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood’s Health Pillar celebrates Dr. John Crear, the second black family practitioner in Nevada and father of Councilman Cedric Crear, City of Las Vegas, Ward 5.
In March 1966, John and Barbara moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles by way of Houston, Texas. Although ten years apart, both John and Barbara attended Phyllis Wheatley High School and Prairie View A&M College in Texas. John’s studies were interrupted his junior year to proudly serve his country as a medic in the South Pacific during World War II. Not until they both relocated to Los Angeles would their paths cross.
At the time John graduated from Prairie View, most colleges were not accepting blacks into medical school, so he went to work as a laboratory technician at Meharry Medical College before being accepted to the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. While at Irvine, one of John’s professors told him that he would not make it past the first year and should consider dropping out. John did not give up, however, and instead went on to become one of the most honored and respected physicians in Nevada.
John met Barbara, a great influence who helped him stay focused, while he was completing his residency at Los Angeles County General Hospital where Barbara worked as a dietician. Soon after they married, Charles West, the first black doctor in Nevada, recruited John to move to Las Vegas. He accepted and became the second black family practitioner in Nevada. He set up his practice in the Westside of Las Vegas, the only place blacks could live at the time, right next to the Moulin Rouge on Bonanza Road. Barbara worked in the front office and began teaching within the Clark County School District as a substitute. When John and Barbara moved to Las Vegas, there was much need in the black community. They quickly became friends, confidants, and mentors to many trying to find their way in a very difficult, segregated society.
John and Barbara welcomed a son, Kenneth, in 1968. A second son, Cedric, followed in 1969. Kenneth and Cedric both attended public schools in Las Vegas, and later graduated from Bishop Gorman High School. Barbara volunteered often at their schools, always lending a helping hand to their teachers, and even hosting many parties for their schoolmates at her home. In addition to working in John’s office, Barbara was also an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and many other civic groups.
Congratulations Councilman Crear on the rich legacy of your family!