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Color: Navy Blue
Food: Grilled Chicken
Quote: If You Don't Know Where You Are Going Any Road Will Get You There.
Season: Spring
Vacation Destination: Martha's Vineyard, Paris, France
Chicago, Illinois United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 9/22/2016

Broadcast chief executive and business professor Henry McGee III was born on January 22, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, to Henry McGee Jr., a law professor, and Catherine Williams, an office administrator. He attended George Washington Elementary School in Maywood, Illinois, and Alain Locke Elementary School in Gary, Indiana. McGee would go on to attend Horace Mann High School in Gary, and Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California before entering college at Harvard University a year early. McGee earned his B.A. degree in 1974, graduating magna cum laude.

McGee worked as a writer for Newsweek from 1974 to 1977 in New York and Washington D.C. He decided to return to Harvard in 1977 to pursue an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School. In 1979, he accepted an offer from Time, Inc. to work as a manager of film acquisition at the company's new venture, Home Box Office [HBO]. Over the next fifteen years, McGee served as Director of Program Acquisition for Time-Life Films (1980-1981), Director of Cinemax Program Planning and HBO Family Programming (1981-1983), Director of HBO Enterprises (1983-1985), Vice President of Home Video (1985-1988), and Senior Vice President of Programming for HBO Video (1988-1995). In March of 1995, McGee was promoted to President of HBO Home Entertainment. He held that position for almost ten years until resigning from HBO to return to Harvard Business School as a senior lecturer.

McGee served on several nonprofit boards, including as director for the Pew Research Center since 2014, and the Black Filmmaker Foundation. He was director and president of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and served as a member of the board for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation. He was a director for Save the Children, the Time Warner Foundation, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Sundance Institute. Additionally, McGee served on the advisory board for the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University and for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

McGee was recognized in Variety’s Home Entertainment Hall of Fame, and in the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Minorities in Communication. He received the Professional Achievement Award from the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association and was named by Black Enterprise as one of the “50 Most Powerful African Americans in the Entertainment Business.”

McGee and his wife, Celia, live in New York, New York. They have one daughter, Honor.

Henry McGee III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 22, 2016.

Speaker Bureau Notes: