An Evening With Richard Parsons PBS-TV Show

Saturday 11/15/2008

Jack Morton Auditorium The George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

This hour-long, one-on-one interview program showcases the life and career of corporate giant, Richard Parsons. Taped live in Washington, D.C. on the campus of The George Washington University at the Jack Morton Auditorium on Saturday, November 15, 2008, this program is the fifteenth in The HistoryMakers’ An Evening With. . . series. CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien served as the program’s interviewer.


Born in New York, Parsons went on to become Chairman and CEO of Time Warner, before assuming the chairmanship of Citigroup. The interview covers Parsons’ childhood, the extensive impact of his mentor, Nelson Rockefeller, had on him and his legal and business careers. The life of Richard Parsons is an example that businessmen and women look to for guidance and aspire to become. Produced by The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, An Evening With Richard Parsons is enlightening and engaging, and provides rich insight into the life of a corporate legend.


The HistoryMakers would like to thank, Richard Parsons, his staff, Soledad O’Brien, our event co-chairs, benefit committee members, volunteers and sponsors for making An Evening With Richard Parsons possible.   


The HistoryMakers staff has created a finding aid for this event. View/Download below: 

Finding Aid To An Evening With Richard Parsons.pdf


Richard D. Parsons

Richard D. Parsons is Chairman of Citigroup and former Chairman of the Board of Time Warner, whose businesses include filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems and publishing. From May 2002 to December 2007, Mr. Parsons served as Time Warner’s Chief Executive Officer. He became Chairman of the Board in May 2003.


As CEO, Mr. Parsons led Time Warner’s turnaround and set the company on a solid path toward achieving sustainable growth. In the process, he put in place the industry’s most experienced and successful management team, strengthened the company’s balance sheet and simplified its corporate structure, and carried out a disciplined approach to realigning the company’s portfolio of assets to improve returns. In its January 2005 report on America’s Best CEOs, Institutional Investor magazine named Mr. Parsons the top CEO in the entertainment industry.


Mr. Parsons joined Time Warner as its President in February 1995, and has been a member of the company’s Board of Directors since January 1991. As President, he oversaw the company’s filmed entertainment and music businesses, and all corporate staff functions, including financial activities, legal affairs, public affairs and administration.


Before becoming President of Time Warner, Mr. Parsons was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dime Bancorp, Inc., one of the largest thrift institutions in the United States. Previously, he was the managing partner of the New York law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. Prior to that, he held various positions in state and federal government, as counsel for Nelson Rockefeller and as a senior White House aide under President Gerald Ford. Mr. Parsons received his undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii and his legal training at Union University’s Albany Law School.


Mr. Parsons’ civic and non-profit commitments include Co-Chairman of the Mayor’s Commission on Economic Opportunity in New York; Chairman Emeritus of the Partnership for New York City; Chairman of the Apollo Theatre Foundation and service on the boards of Howard University, the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History. He also serves on the boards of Citigroup and Estée Lauder.   

 Soledad O'Brien  

Soledad O’Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN: Special Investigations Unit, reporting hour-long documentaries throughout the year and filing in-depth series on the most important ongoing and breaking news stories for all major CNN programs. She also covers political news as part of CNN’s “Best Political Team on Television.”


O’Brien joined CNN in July 2003 as the co-anchor of the network’s flagship morning program, American Morning, and distinguished herself by reporting from the scene on the transformational events that broke on her watch. Her efforts following Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Phuket, Thailand, have earned her numerous awards and critical acclaim.


O’Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she had anchored the network’s Weekend Today since July 1999. Before Weekend Today, O’Brien anchored MSNBC’s award-winning technology program The Site. O’Brien joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and Today. Before her time at NBC, she served three years as a local reporter and bureau chief for the NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco. She began her career as an associate producer and news writer at the then-NBC affiliate, WBZ-TV in Boston. 

 Executive Producer  

Julieanna L. Richardson




Curtis Simmons



Honorary Co-Chairs   

Earl Graves, Sr.

Robert L. Johnson

Steven Knapp

Debra Lee

The Honorable Colin L. Powell

Joseph E. Robert, Jr.


Event Chair   

Vernon E. Jordan


 Event Co-Chairs  

Antoinette Cook Bush & Dwight Bush

Carol Sutton Lewis & William M. Lewis, Jr.


 Benefit Committee 

Eric Broyles

Ann Jordan

Royal Kennedy & Johnathan Rodgers

Sharon Malone & Eric Holder

Stephanie Phillips & George Murray

Franklin Raines

Janice & Richard Roberts

Keva Sturdevant

Riley Temple

Beatrice & Anthony Welters

Ann Marie & David Wilkins