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Elzie Higginbottom

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Information about Elzie Higginbottom

Profile image of Elzie Higginbottom

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Real Estate Developer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Hot Dogs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Patience Is The Smart Thing To Do. Without Patience, You Will Never Be Successful In Business.

Birthplace

Born:
11/24/1941
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Real Estate Developer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Hot Dogs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Patience Is The Smart Thing To Do. Without Patience, You Will Never Be Successful In Business.

Birthplace

Born:
11/24/1941
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Elzie Higginbottom is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Housing developer Elzie L. Higginbottom was born on November 24, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to Elzie Higginbottom and Katherine Skaggs Higginbottom. His parents instilled entrepreneurial and service values within him. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965 with his B.A. in agricultural economics and was an accomplished athlete in men’s track and field. In 1963, he was named NCAA outdoor All-American, placing fifth in the 440 yard dash in national competition. He also won Big Ten indoor titles in the 440. Higginbottom was a three time Big Ten champion, anchoring the mile relay to a conference title in 1962. He also held the University of Wisconsin-Madison records in the indoor and outdoor 440 yard dash for more than twenty years. Higginbottom was later honored by the university with the distinguished alumni award. All of his success as a track athlete taught him how to focus and discipline himself, which proved invaluable in his real estate endeavors.

Higginbottom was hired by Baird & Warner in Chicago, Illinois. While at Baird & Warner, he created and directed the Government Assisted Multifamily Finance Division, producing an annual loan volume of $50 million to $100 million for twelve consecutive years. By 1974, Higginbottom was promoted to mortgage vice president in charge of FHA financing. In 1983, Higginbottom left Baird & Warner and started East Lake Management & Development Corp., which grew to become the largest minority-owned real estate company in the State of Illinois. Mr. Higginbottom is committed to providing affordable, safe and comfortable housing to Chicagoans. He is also the first minority developer of hi-rises in the Chicago Loop and River North area including 200 N. Dearborn and 1250 N. LaSalle Street. He has developed and managed several thousand units for his own company as well as for the Chicago Housing Authority and others.

In 2005, Higginbottom made Crain’s Chicago Business list of “Who’s Who in Real Estate.” In 2000, he was inducted into the Chicago Association of Realtors Hall of Fame and is the only African-American to receive that honor. In 2004 he endowed the Higginbottom Urgent Care for Kids Unit at Mercy Hospital. Wanting to inspire young athletes, Higginbottom and Dr. Conrad Worril co-founded Friends of Track and Field in 2006. He is a board member for After School Matters in Chicago and a Trustee for Illinois Institute of Technology. He is married to Deborah Larsen and they have four children.


Elzie Higginbottom, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 17, 2012.

See how Elzie Higginbottom is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elzie Higginbottom's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elzie Higginbottom lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about his father's education and profession
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elzie Higginbottom recalls how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about his parents' occupations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers working at his father's store in Chicago Heights, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Elzie Higginbottom describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his community in Chicago Heights, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers working for his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elzie Higginbottom recalls travelling around the Chicagoland area in his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his early schooling in Chicago Heights, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his early religious experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about his track career at Bloom Township High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers his high school track coach
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers the diverse community at Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the Gavin family of Chicago Heights, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elzie Higginbottom describes the Morgan Park Laundromat in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elzie Higginbottom recalls his track and field state championships
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his decision to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers his parents' political ideologies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elzie Higginbottom recalls his experiences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers his track career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the 1963 Rose Bowl
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Elzie Higginbottom describes how he came to work for Baird and Warner in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his role at Baird and Warner in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his role at Baird and Warner in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the high rise housing projects in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elzie Higginbottom recalls his early real estate developments
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the deterioration of Chicago's South Side communities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elzie Higginbottom recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s time in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers the riots of 1968 in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about East Lake Management and Development Corp.'s early developments
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Elzie Higginbottom remembers the influential African American businessmen of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley's administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elzie Higginbottom describes the evolution of public housing in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the integration of neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elzie Higginbottom recalls the mayoral administration of Harold Washington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elzie Higginbottom describes East Lake Management and Development Corp. in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about East Lake Management and Development Corp.'s properties
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Elzie Higginbottom describes the African American construction and retail industries
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the education of entrepreneurialism
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elzie Higginbottom describes the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the demolition of the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the demolition of the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Elzie Higginbottom describes Chicago's African American residents' migration to the neighboring suburbs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about his corporate board affiliations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Elzie Higginbottom describes the Supreme Life Building in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the Illinois Gaming Board
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the redevelopment of the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Elzie Higginbottom lists his redevelopment projects on Chicago's South Side
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about housing code violations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about the state of Chicago's African American businesses
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Elzie Higginbottom describes the Friends of Track and Field organization
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Elzie Higginbottom describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Elzie Higginbottom reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Elzie Higginbottom talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Elzie Higginbottom describes how he would like to be remembered