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George Haley

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Information about George Haley

Profile image of George Haley

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal Government Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Southern Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Cruises
Favorite Quote:
I'm Only One, But I Am One. I Can't Do Everything, But I Can Do Something. And Because I Cannot Do Everything, I Will Not Refuse To Do The Something That I Can Do.

Birthplace

Born:
8/28/1925
Birth Location:
Henning, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal Government Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Southern Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Cruises
Favorite Quote:
I'm Only One, But I Am One. I Can't Do Everything, But I Can Do Something. And Because I Cannot Do Everything, I Will Not Refuse To Do The Something That I Can Do.

Birthplace

Born:
8/28/1925
Birth Location:
Henning
See how George Haley is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Attorney George Williford Boyce Haley was born on August 28, 1925, in Henning, Tennessee. He grew up on a number of college campuses, as both his parents were university professors. As a young boy living at Alabama A&M at Normal, Alabama, he met Dr. George Washington Carver. While a student at J. C. Corbin High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he played the french horn with the Arkansas AM&N College marching band. In 1943 Haley moved to Bordentown, New Jersey and graduated from Bordentown High School, a military boarding school. Two months after graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Military and served for the next three years.

From 1946 until 1949, Haley attended Morehouse College with Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays as president, and fellow students Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lerone Bennett. After receiving his bachelor of arts degree, he accepted a challenge from his father and became the third African American student admitted to the University of Arkansas Law School where he was one of five African Americans at the school.

While at Arkansas, he endured horrendous acts of racism, including having a bag of urine thrown in his face and facing daily verbal insults. At the end of his first year he scored the highest marks on his final examinations and by the end of his second year he was writing articles for the Law Review. He received his law degree in 1952, becoming the second African American to graduate from Arkansas.

After receiving his law degree, he joined the firm of Stevens Jackson in Kansas, who are often referred to as the architects of the landmark civil rights case, Brown v. the Board of Education. While still working in private practice, Haley served as Deputy City Attorney from 1954-1964. He then embarked on a political career and was elected as a Kansas State Senator. He held that post from 1964-1968.

In 1966, Haley unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Congress; nonetheless he still landed in Washington, D.C. In 1969, Haley was appointed Chief Counsel of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (Federal Transit Administration) by President Richard Nixon. From 1973-1976, he served as Associate Director for Equal Employment Opportunity at the United States Information Agency (USIA). Upon leaving USIA, he became a partner in the law firm of Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell and Hippel of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. before establishing his own firm in 1981. In 1986, he made another unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Haley as Chairman of the Postal Rate Commission, where he served for the next eight years, after being re-commissioned by President Bill Clinton. In April of 1998, President Clinton named him U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia in West Africa, where he served until 2001. Haley also served as the executor of the estate of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Alex Haley, his brother.

Haley passed away on May 13, 2015 at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was 89.

George Haley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 20, 2004.

See how George Haley is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Haley's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Haley lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Haley talks about his mother and how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Haley shares his childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Haley describes his mother's death
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George Haley talks about his father, pt.1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George Haley talks about his father, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George Haley talks about his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George Haley describes his relatives telling stories of their ancestors
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George Haley describes stories he was told about his ancestors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Haley describes how Alex Haley became inspired to do genealogical research
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Haley lists his siblings and explains the origin of their names
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Haley describes the different places he lived growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Haley describes growing up on college campuses
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Haley describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George Haley talks about his elementary school friends, including HistoryMaker Gerald Lamb
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George Haley talks about his teachers and playing piano
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George Haley talks about his aspirations and what he was like as a child and student during elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George Haley talks about his and his maternal grandfather's relationship with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Haley talks about his participation in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Haley describes attending P. W. Moore Junior-Senior High School in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and J. C. Corbin High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Haley recalls attending Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Haley explains why he completed high school at Bordentown High School in Bordentown, New Jersey
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Haley describes his frustration at having to enter the U.S. military instead of going to college after high school graduation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Haley recalls his experience at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and the influence of Dr. Benjamin Mays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Haley recites the words of Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - George Haley talks about his decision to attend the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Haley talks about Silas Hunt and Jackie Lamond Shropshire integrating the University of Arkansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Haley talks about changing race relations at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Haley remembers being harassed at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Haley describes the impact of his attendance at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Haley talks about his law practice at Stevens, Jackson, Davis, and Haley and becoming Deputy City Attorney for the City of Kansas City, Kansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Haley talks about the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Haley tells a story about his maternal grandmother to demonstrate changes in moral standards
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George Haley recalls becoming a Kansas State Senator in 1964
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Haley describes his move from state politics to federal politics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Haley talks about the response he received from Reader's Digest article, 'George Haley: The Man Who Wouldn't Quit,' by Alex Haley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Haley reflects on the success of his brother, Alex Haley's book, 'Roots: The Saga of an American Family' and his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George Haley talks about starting his own law firm in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George Haley talks about UNESCO
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George Haley describes serving on the U.S. Postal Rate Commission
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - George Haley describes his experience as the U.S. ambassador to the Gambia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - George Haley describes some of his projects in the Gambia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Haley describes his projects underway in 2004 on behalf of his brother, Alex Haley's estate
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Haley talks about his hopes for strengthening economic and cultural ties between African Americans and Africans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Haley talks about the influence of 'Roots' on the popularity of genealogical research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Haley describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Haley talks about the importance of history
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Haley narrates his photographs