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Billye Aaron

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Information about Billye Aaron

Profile image of Billye Aaron

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Executive
Television Personality

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas, Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Help Me To Do Unto Others As I Would Have Them Do Unto Me.

Birthplace

Born:
10/16/1936
Birth Location:
Anderson County, Texas

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Executive
Television Personality

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas, Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Help Me To Do Unto Others As I Would Have Them Do Unto Me.

Birthplace

Born:
10/16/1936
Birth Location:
Anderson County
See how Billye Aaron is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Nonprofit executive and television personality Billye Aaron was born on October 16, 1936 in Anderson County, Texas to Nathan Suber and Annie Mae Smith Suber. She attended Clemons School in Neches, Texas and later graduated from Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas in 1954. In 1958, she graduated from Texas College in Tyler, Texas with her B.A. degree in English. She received a fellowship to attend Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated with her M.A. degree in 1960. Aaron continued her post-graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

Aaron taught English in the Atlanta public school system, at Spelman College, Morehouse College, South Carolina State College and Morris Brown College. In 1968, she was hired as a co-host for WSB-TV’s ‘Today in Georgia,’ becoming the first African American woman in the southeast to co-host a daily, hour-long talk show. In 1973, she married baseball legend Hank Aaron and began hosting her weekly talk show, ‘Billye,’ for WTMJ-TV. In 1980, she served as the development director for the Atlanta branch of the United Negro College Fund. Throughout her fourteen-year tenure with the organization, she co-hosted the annual telethon, ‘Lou Rawls Parade of Stars,’ co-founded the Mayor’s MASKED Ball and became the second woman in the organization to serve as vice president of the southern region. After retiring in 1994, she and her husband started the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation to award scholarships to assist the education of low-income children.

A longtime member of the NAACP, Aaron chaired its premiere fundraiser, the annual Freedom Fund Dinner, for five years. She was named director emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and has been honored with numerous awards for her service, including the 2003 Martin Luther King, Jr. “Salute to Greatness” and the YWCA Woman of Achievement award.

Aaron and her husband, Hank Aaron's children include Ceci Haydel, Aaron’s daughter from her first marriage, and Gaile, Hank, Jr., Lary and Dorinda, from Hank Aaron’s first marriage. They also have two grandchildren, Emily Jewel and Victor Aaron Haydel.

Billye Aaron was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 1, 2016.

See how Billye Aaron is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Billye Aaron's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron talks about how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron describes her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Billye Aaron remembers her paternal grandmother's farm
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Billye Aaron describes her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron recalls her extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron describes her early interest in television
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron remembers her classmates at Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron recalls attending Texas College in Tyler, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron remembers enrolling at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron talks about her first husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron recalls her teaching experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron recalls commuting to Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron describes the civil rights activities of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron recalls her first husband's relationship with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron remembers the night of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron remembers the night of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron talks about the aftermath of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron talks about the contention between the black church leaders in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Billye Aaron remembers the challenges of desegregating Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron talks about her first husband's religious affiliations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron remembers joining WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron describes her experiences as co-host of 'Today in Georgia'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron remembers the death of her first husband
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron recalls her early relationship with Hank Aaron
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron talks about her life after marrying Hank Aaron
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron talks about her involvement with the NAACP
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron describes her experiences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Billye Aaron remembers working for the United Negro College Fund
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Billye Aaron describes her work with the United Negro College Fund
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Billye Aaron talks about Hank Aaron's philanthropy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Billye Aaron describes the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Billye Aaron talks about her scholarship endowments
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Billye Aaron describes her and husband's business ventures
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Billye Aaron describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Billye Aaron talks about her family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Billye Aaron describes how she would like to be remembered