The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

George Campbell, Jr.

Share on Social Media

Information about George Campbell, Jr.

Profile image of George Campbell, Jr.

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
All Colors
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Skiing, Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/2/1945
Birth Location:
Richmond, Virginia

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
All Colors
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Skiing, Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/2/1945
Birth Location:
Richmond
See how George Campbell, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

College president, nonprofit chief executive and physicist Dr. George Campbell, Jr. was born on December 2, 1945 in Richmond, Virginia to Lillian and George Campbell. Campbell graduated with his B.S. degree in physics in 1968 from Drexel University, where he was a Guggenheim Scholar. Campbell went on to study at Syracuse University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics and began working in academic positions at Syracuse University and later at Nkumbi International College in Zambia. Here, he taught physics and conducted research.

Soon thereafter, Campbell left to take a position at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he would stay for the next twelve years, occupying various research and design and management positions. During his time at Bell Labs, Campbell helped develop the third generation of telecommunication satellites and served as a United States delegate to the International Telecommunications Union. After his tenure at Bell Labs, Campbell became president and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), a nonprofit organization designed to open doors of opportunity for young people interested in the field of engineering. Under Campbell's leadership, NACME's public funding nearly tripled and the organization was recognized with a U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence. In July 2000, Oxford University Press published "Access Denied: Race, Ethnicity and Scientific Enterprise," which Dr. Campbell co-edited.

On July 1, 2000, Campbell returned to academia when he became the first African American president of Cooper Union, a private university in New York City.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Campbell and his wife, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, the Dean of New York University's Tisch School of Arts, raised three sons, the eldest of whom, Garikai, is a professor of Mathematics and Acting Dean of Students at Swarthmore College.

George Campbell Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 17, 2001.

See how George Campbell, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Campbell's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Campbell lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Campbell shares his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Campbell remembers his grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Campbell recalls his mother's life in New York City and Philadelphia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George Campbell describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George Campbell considers his grandfather's skills
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George Campbell shares his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George Campbell describes how he lived in Philadelphia, New York City, and Virginia as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George Campbell discusses his childhood household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - George Campbell details the schools he attended
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Campbell recalls the life of his mother as a single parent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Campbell considers the values of the church and its influence in his early life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Campbell advises parents to remain involved in their children's education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Campbell recalls being exposed to science at Central High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Campbell discusses his enrollment at Central High School in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George Campbell reflects on the social climate of Central High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George Campbell discusses his interests in art
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George Campbell describes his college application process
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George Campbell describes his science and work opportunities while attending Drexel University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Campbell recalls meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Campbell describes his father-in-law, Harvey Schmidt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Campbell remembers being drafted for the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Campbell describes his philosophy of civil rights on an international scale
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Campbell remembers his family's feelings about his trip to Zambia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Campbell considers American icons in Zambian culture
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Campbell compares differences in child-rearing in the United States and Zambia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - George Campbell describes the teaching experience in Zambia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - George Campbell remembers returning to the United States from his trip to Zambia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Campbell describes how he learned of the job opportunity in Zambia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Campbell recalls pursuing graduate studies at Syracuse University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Campbell describes his graduate dissertation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Campbell describes his and his wife's career opportunities following graduate school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Campbell describes his work at Bell Laboratories
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Campbell describes other aerospace-based companies and his work-travel for Bell Laboratories
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Campbell describes international efforts in pursuing new technology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - George Campbell describes the African American presence at Bell Laboratories, Part 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - George Campbell describes the African American support networks at Bell Laboratories
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George Campbell describes the atmosphere of Bell Laboratories
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Campbell recalls why he left Bell Laboratories to lead NACME, Part 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Campbell recalls why he left Bell Laboratories to lead NACME, Part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Campbell discusses the conditions of NACME at the time of his arrival at the company in 1990
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George Campbell describes the success of NACME's Engineering Vanguard Program, part 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George Campbell describes the success of NACME's Engineering Vanguard Program, part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George Campbell describes the success of NACME's Engineering Vanguard Program, part 3
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Campbell shares his perspective on unfair aptitude tests
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Campbell describes NACME's research in underrepresented populations in the education system
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Campbell explains his leadership philosophy and his decision to leave NACME
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Campbell shares the history of Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Campbell discusses Cooper Union's role as a full-scholarship based institution
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Campbell outlines his goals for his tenure as president of Cooper Union
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - George Campbell discusses Cooper Union's competition as an institution of higher education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - George Campbell describes the perspectives of his family members
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - George Campbell shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - George Campbell describes his wife's successes
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - George Campbell considers his legacy