Levar Burton

Before there was Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center on Twin Cities Road, there was St. Pius the X Seminary. One of its graduates was Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr., better known in Hollywood as actor Levar Burton. He played the role of a young Kunta Kinte in the 1977 ABC television miniseries Roots, was Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and was the host of the PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow. Burton was born on an American army base in Germany, where his dad was an Army photographer. His mother raised him in Sacramento, and in 1970, he entered St. Pius intending to become a priest. Burton graduated in 1974 and received a drama scholarship to the University of Southern California’s School of Theatre. His first big break came in 1977 in his Roots role.