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

Henry W. McGee

Share on Social Media

Information about Henry W. McGee

Profile image of Henry W. McGee

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast Executive
Business Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Grilled Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
If You Don't Know Where You Are Going Any Road Will Get You There.

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1953
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast Executive
Business Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Grilled Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
If You Don't Know Where You Are Going Any Road Will Get You There.

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1953
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Henry W. McGee is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Broadcast executive Henry W. McGee was born on January 22, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois to Henry McGee Jr. and Catherine Williams. At the age of sixteen, McGee moved with his father to Los Angeles, California, and attended Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California until his junior year when he received early admission to Harvard University. McGee earned his B.A. degree in social studies magna cum laude in 1974. Later he received his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School in 1979.

McGee worked as a writer for Newsweek from 1974 to 1977 in New York and Washington D.C. After he obtained his M.B.A. degree, he was hired as a manager of film acquisition for Home Box Office (HBO), which was then a new venture at Time, Inc. McGee went on to serve as director of program acquisition for Time-Life Films from 1980 to 1981, director of Cinemax Program Planning and HBO Family Programming from 1981 to 1983, director of HBO Enterprises from 1983 to 1985, vice president of home video from 1985 to 1988, and senior vice president of programming for HBO Video from 1988 to 1995. In March of 1995, McGee was promoted to president of HBO Home Entertainment. Under his leadership, HBO became the leading force in the TV-to-DVD industry and a pioneer in using the Internet for marketing and sales. After retiring from HBO in 2013, McGee joined the faculty of Harvard Business School as a senior lecturer.

In 2004, McGee was elected to the board of AmerisourceBergen, the global pharmaceutical services company, and in 2017 was named chairman of the company’s Governance and Nominating Committee. In 2015, he joined the board of TEGNA, Inc., a broadcast and digital media company that owns the largest number of affiliates of the NBC television network. McGee also served on several nonprofit boards, including as director of the Black Filmmaker Foundation board since 1985, and the Pew Research Center board since 2014. He also served as director and president of the Film Society of Lincoln Center board, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation board. He served as a director of the boards of the Save the Children Fund, the Time Warner Foundation, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Sundance Institute. Additionally, McGee served on the advisory board of Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.

McGee was inducted into Variety’s Home Entertainment Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Minorities in Communication Hall of Fame. He also received the Professional Achievement Award from the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association, and was named by Black Enterprise as one of the “50 Most Powerful African Americans in the Entertainment Business.” In 2018 the National Association of Corporate Directors named McGee one of the 100 most influential people in the boardroom community.

McGee and his wife, Celia, have one daughter, Honor.

Henry W. McGee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 22, 2016.

See how Henry W. McGee is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Henry W. McGee's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee talks about his mother's light complexion
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal grandfather's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal grandfather's career at the post office
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal family's emphasis on education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee describes his father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal grandfather's civil rights work
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee describes his father's work for the Legal Services Program
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee remembers his parents' divorce, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee describes his father's career in higher education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee remembers moving to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee remembers his parents' divorce, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee remembers living with his maternal family in Maywood, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee remembers the community of Maywood, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee remembers moving to Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee describes his neighborhood in Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee remembers school desegregation in Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee remembers attending a summer program at the Mount Hermon School for Boys in Northfield, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee recalls his early admission to Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee remembers his aspiration to become a journalist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee recalls his summer internships at Newsweek magazine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee remembers the black student community at Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee recalls his parents' reaction to his admission to Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee remembers joining the staff of Newsweek magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee remembers working for Newsweek in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee recalls his decision to attend Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee recalls being offered a position at Time Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee recalls his decision to work at Home Box Office
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee describes the original business model of Home Box Office
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee describes his role at Home Box Office, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee describes his role at Home Box Office, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee talks about the early home movie industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee recalls the impact of DVDs on the home entertainment industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee remembers the introduction of original programming on Home Box Office
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee talks about Home Box Office's original series
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee describes Home Box Office's corporate history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee remembers his presidency of Home Box Office
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee describes Home Box Office's international expansion
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee remembers designing a business ethics curriculum
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee remembers becoming a full time instructor at the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Henry W. McGee shares his advice to aspiring film industry professionals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Henry W. McGee reflects upon his life and organizational activities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee narrates his photographs