Walter Fink was, by all reports, a straight arrow. A former air force colonel who still experimented with model airplanes, he brought a military sensibility to the ninth-grade science classroom of Peoria’s Central High. Outside the classroom, he served as class sponsor of the Hi-Y Club and School Banking Club. Here he is pictured in the 1958 Crest, the high school’s yearbook.

Richard Pryor and Walter Fink did not quite see eye-to-eye. In March 1956, Fink tried to remove Richard bodily from his classroom, and Richard took a swing at him. This was grounds for expulsion, and Richard never returned to ninth grade.