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The Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr.

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Information about The Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr.

Profile image of The Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr.

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Sergeant
Foreign Ambassador

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chili
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
Equal opportunity means equal responsibility.

Birthplace

Born:
10/17/1925
Birth Location:
Augusta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Sergeant
Foreign Ambassador

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chili
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
Equal opportunity means equal responsibility.

Birthplace

Born:
10/17/1925
Birth Location:
Augusta
See how The Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Ambassador Theodore R. Britton Jr. was born on October 17, 1925 in North Augusta, South Carolina to Bessie B. and Theodore R. Britton, Sr. His family relocated to New York City in 1936. Britton left high school in January of 1944 to join the U. S. Marine Corps where he served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After being discharged, he enrolled at New York University until the beginning of the Korean War. Britton was then called to active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps where he served until May of 1951. He then resumed his studies at New York University and graduated with his B.A. degree in banking and finance in February of 1952.

Britton worked as a mortgage officer and head of the mortgage department at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association from 1955 to 1964. From there, he became president of the American Baptist Convention and a leader in the non-profit housing field. Britton was then invited to join the federal government by Harry Finger, who was head of Research and Technology in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Britton closed his offices in New York and Pennsylvania and decided to join HUD in 1971 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. As the HUD official managing international research, his volunteer program for the U. S. Information Agency attracted favorable attention. Britton was nominated by President Gerald R. Ford to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and Grenada and as the U. S. Special Representative to Antigua, Dominica, St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, St. Lucia and St. Vincent on November 17, 1974. Britton was elected as vice-chair of the Group on Urban Affairs at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 1971, and later as president. His resignation as Ambassador was accepted by President Jimmy Carter in May of 1977.

Upon retirement, Britton was honored by the City Councils of Newark, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He presented with the Congressional Gold Medal on June 30, 2012 in recognition of his services with the U.S. Marine Corps’ Montford Point Marines. Britton is a Life Member of the Second Marine Division, Montford Point Marine Association, and the Association for Intelligence Officers. On March 2, 2013, he joined the Marine Corps Commandant and other officials as a U. S. Navy ship was christened to honor the Montford Point Marines. Britton has served as Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Albania since 2006. He is also the Honorary Chairman of Kristal University in Tirana, Albania where her was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree in 2009.

Britton was married in 1950 to the late Ruth B. A. Baker of Fort Worth, Texas. He is currently married to Vernell Elizabeth Stewart of Jacksonville, Florida.

Ambassador Theodore R. Britton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 9, 2013.

See how The Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Theodore R. Britton, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt.1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt.2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. gives historical background on the education system in the South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how his parents met and which parent's personality he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his experience in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his school teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his high school teacher, Mr. L. Walter Stevens
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his jobs in high school and the civil rights activist, Dr. Channing Tobias
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his high school courses and wanting to visit France
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his grades in high school and the 1940s labor movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his plans following his high school graduation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about joining the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his experience after arrival at Montford Point in North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his boot camp training
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the treatment of blacks in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about drill instructors in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about graduating from boot camp and whites' reaction to black soldiers fighting overseas in World War II
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his experience on the U.S. Navy Ship, "Sea Perch" and the Solomon Islands
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his tour of duty in Guadalcanal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his experiences while at Camp Paukukalo in Hawaii
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about returning to the United States in 1946
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his involvement with the Society for the Study of Negro History in New York, pt.1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his involvement with the Society for the Study of Negro History in New York, pt.2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his involvement in the Greater Harlem Christian Youth Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains why he pursued a career in banking and finance
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his attendance at New York University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about African American singer, Paul Robeson, pt.1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about his friend John L. Loeb, Jr., pt.1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about his friend John L. Loeb, Jr., pt.2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about African American singer, Paul Robeson, pt.2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the political climate of the early 1950s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his involvement in Republican politics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his career at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. shares highlights from his career at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association, pt.1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. shares highlights from his career at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association, pt.2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his work at the American Baptist Convention
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his recognition by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1969
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about being invited to speak for before the U.S. Information Agency and his nomination for ambassador
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. remembers learning about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. reminisces about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about important African American leaders of the late 1960s and minority business
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses African American civil rights leader, James Forman
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about former President Richard Nixon's black capitalism initiative
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about African American diplomats, Horace Dawson and Edward R. Dudley, pt.1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about African American diplomats, Horace Dawson and Edward R. Dudley, pt.2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how former Senator Strom Thurmond helped him become an ambassador
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his ambassadorship to Barbados and Grenada, and meeting Queen Elizabeth II
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about a special moment he had with former President Richard Nixon
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about columnist, Jack Anderson and entertainer, Danny Kaye
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. gives highlights from his career a as chief admission ambassador to Barbados and Grenada, pt.1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. gives highlights from his career a as chief admission Ambassador to Barbados and Grenada, pt.2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his experience as president of the United Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his position as head of international research for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how photos he took of a police incident in London were used in a trial, pt.1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how photos he took of a police incident in London were used in a trial, pt.2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. recalls his testimony before the Development Policy in the Caribbean Committee in 1988
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. recounts his international work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pt.1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. recounts his international work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pt.2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about the Association of Black American Ambassadors, pt.1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about the Association of Black American Ambassadors, pt.2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his professional activities during Bill Clinton's presidency and being Counsel General to Albania
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. reflects upon his professional legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about having a temperament for diplomacy and taking advantage of educational opportunities
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community and shares his regrets
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his diplomatic work with Albania
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses People to People International and the perks of being an ambassador
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his photographs