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Erroll Davis, Jr.

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Information about Erroll Davis, Jr.

Profile image of Erroll Davis, Jr.

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops (Smothered)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
All Problems Are Leadership Problems.

Birthplace

Born:
8/5/1944
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops (Smothered)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
All Problems Are Leadership Problems.

Birthplace

Born:
8/5/1944
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh
See how Erroll Davis, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Education administrator Erroll Brown Davis, Jr. was born on August 5, 1944 and grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While Davis had a close relationship with his parents, Erroll, Sr. and Eleanor, his strongest influence as a child was his grandfather, John Boykin, a Georgia farmer who had migrated to Pittsburgh and worked as a chauffeur.
Davis graduated from high school at age sixteen, and then worked his way through Carnegie-Mellon University, becoming, along with his sister Diana who graduated the same year, the first members of his family to graduate from college. Davis received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1965 at the age of twenty. He moved to Chicago for graduate school, receiving his M.B.A. degree in finance from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business in 1967.

Following his graduation from Chicago, Davis worked briefly at ARCO, an international oil company, and then spent two years as an U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam War. In 1969, Davis joined the Ford Motor Company as a systems analyst. He later spent five years working in corporate finance at Xerox Corporation. Davis worked for Ford Motor Company until 1973, when he left for a position in Stamford, CT with Xerox Corporation, with whom he was affiliated until 1978. At Xerox, his focus was on strategic financial planning. Prior to the creation of Alliant Energy, Davis worked at Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL). From 1978 to 1990, Davis received several promotions through the senior management ranks at WPL, starting as vice president of finance and ending as CEO and President.

Davis’ higher education experience includes serving as a member of the University of the Wisconsin System Board of Regents from 1987 to 1994, and as a former chairman of the board of trustees of Carnegie Mellon University, where he is a life member. From 2006 to 2011, Davis served as chancellor of the University System of Georgia. He was appointed superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools in July of 2011. He is a member of the board of directors of General Motors and Union Pacific Corp., and serves on the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) board and on the advisory board of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) along with numerous professional associations and civic organizations. He is a former member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board (2004-2008) and the University of Chicago Board of Trustees.

Davis is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including recognition as one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “100 Most Influential Atlantans,” one of the “75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise Magazine. Davis also was named one of the “50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America” by Fortune Magazine in 2002 and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business in 1993. In addition, Davis was honored by the magazine U.S. Black Engineer as the “Black Engineer of the Year” in 1988.

Davis and his wife, Elaine, live and in work in Atlanta, Georgia.

Erroll B. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 17, 2012.

See how Erroll Davis, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Erroll Davis, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Erroll Davis, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his maternal grandparents' move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his maternal relatives' names
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers his father's aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his maternal grandparents' employers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers his parents' discipline
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his sister
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about the Homewood community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls his parents' civic involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his father's career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers his early academic success
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers his early work experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers entering kindergarten at four years old
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers an influential teacher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his hobbies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls his start at Westinghouse Junior Senior High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers his favorite teacher at Westinghouse Junior Senior High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers his high school graduation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his university applications
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his course of study at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his course of study at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers his activities at the Carnegie Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls his decision to attend the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers the black community on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his mentors at the University of Chicago, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his mentors at the University of Chicago, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls his graduation from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers enlisting in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his time in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls working at the Ford Motor Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers joining the Xerox Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls his time at the Xerox Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his career at the Wisconsin Power and Light Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls leaving the Alliant Energy Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about forming the Alliant Energy Corporation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about forming the Alliant Energy Corporation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about the representation of African Americans among corporate executives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls his appointment as chancellor of the University System of Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his membership on the board of BP P.L.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his chancellorship of the University System of Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about the historically black colleges in the State of Georgia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Erroll Davis, Jr. recalls his appointment as the interim superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Erroll Davis, Jr. remembers the discovery of the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes the aftermath of the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Erroll Davis, Jr. reflects upon the problems in the Atlanta Public Schools
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about the strategies for increasing student achievement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about school disciplinary policy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Erroll Davis, Jr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Erroll Davis, Jr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Erroll Davis, Jr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes his advice to aspiring businesspeople
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Erroll Davis, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Erroll Davis, Jr. narrates his photographs