Dexter Gordon is considered to be the first musician to
translate the language of Bebop to the tenor saxophone.
Dexter Keith Gordon was born on February 27, 1923 in
Los Angeles, California. His father, Dr. Frank Gordon,
was one of the first African American doctors in Los
Angeles who arrived in 1918 after graduating from
Howard Medical School in Washington, D.C. Among his
patients were Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.
Dexter's mother, Gwendolyn Baker, was the daughter of
Captain Edward Baker, one of the five African American
Medal of Honor recipients in the Spanish-American War.
He began his study of music with the clarinet at age 13,
then switched to the alto saxophone at 15, and finally to
the tenor saxophone at 17