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James O. Webb

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Information about James O. Webb

Profile image of James O. Webb

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Insurance Executive
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Bacon
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii, the Beach
Favorite Quote:
I Always Listen To Advice. It Is Needless To Refuse It. Besides The Giver May Be Nice And I Don't Have To Use It.

Birthplace

Born:
11/25/1931
Birth Location:
Cleveland, Ohio

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Insurance Executive
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Bacon
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii, the Beach
Favorite Quote:
I Always Listen To Advice. It Is Needless To Refuse It. Besides The Giver May Be Nice And I Don't Have To Use It.

Birthplace

Born:
11/25/1931
Birth Location:
Cleveland
See how James O. Webb is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Former Glencoe, Illinois Mayor and insurance industry veteran James O. Webb, Jr. was born on November 25, 1931 in Cleveland, Ohio to Bessie Eubanks and James O. Webb, Sr. Webb attended Miles Standish, Empire and Glenville high schools in Cleveland, then graduated from Morehouse College in 1953 with his B.A. degree. He served two years active duty in the Korean War and spent six years as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

In 1954, Webb married Frankie L. Lowe in Atlanta, Georgia, where the couple lived across the street from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Webb graduated from the University of Michigan in 1957 with a M.B.A. in actuarial science in 1957, the same year as the birth of his daughter, Pamela. In 1957, Webb worked as a Management Trainee Actuarial Assistant for Mutual of New York. Six years later, he joined Supreme Life Insurance, the first African American-owned and operated insurance company in the northern United States.

Webb moved to Illinois Blue Cross & Blue Shield in 1966 and held numerous positions. He began as an assistant actuary, and was promoted to Assistant VP-Product Development, where he helped to develop a new product line. Webb also designed the first Illinois HMO, as well as a national think tank for Blue Cross & Blue Shield executives called the Business Development Institute.

In 1967, Webb’s family moved to Glencoe, Illinois, a village in Cook County and became one of the few African American families to live in that area. Webb became treasurer for the American Academy of Actuaries in 1977, and in 1984, Webb joined the Dental Network of America, where he served as Chairman, President and CEO. There, he helped to guide the organization’s growth into the leading managed dental care company in the United States.

In 1993, after being encouraged to run for public office, Webb was elected mayor of Glencoe, Illinois, where he would remain for two full four-year terms. He successfully tripled the village’s tax income while overseeing certain land acquisition projects. Webb also helped enact ordinances for tree preservation and a teenage smoking ban. He left Dental Network of America in 1994 and became Director of Harris Bank, where he would remain until 2001. That same year, Webb retired from his position as Mayor of Glencoe and moved to North Carolina, where he lives with his daughter. In 2006, Webb became a member of the Durham, North Carolina Arts Council Board of Trustees.

Webb was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 12, 2007.

See how James O. Webb is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James O. Webb's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James O. Webb lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James O. Webb describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James O. Webb describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James O. Webb describes his father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James O. Webb talks about his ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James O. Webb describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James O. Webb remembers his neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James O. Webb talks about his schooling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James O. Webb recalls his early experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James O. Webb remembers the holidays with his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James O. Webb remembers the public housing in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James O. Webb recalls his early interest in reading
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James O. Webb remembers Miles Standish Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James O. Webb describes the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James O. Webb describes his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James O. Webb talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James O. Webb talks about his sister
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James O. Webb recalls winning a contest at Empire Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James O. Webb remembers the influence of his neighbor
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James O. Webb talks about growing up in a majority-white neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James O. Webb recalls his father's influence
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - James O. Webb talks about his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - James O. Webb remembers graduating from Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James O. Webb describes his first experience of discrimination in the South
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James O. Webb recalls an experience of discrimination at his part time job
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James O. Webb remembers an instance of discrimination on a bus in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James O. Webb describes his first impressions of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James O. Webb recalls his academic focus at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James O. Webb remembers the chapel services at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James O. Webb remembers Morehouse College President Benjamin Mays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James O. Webb recalls his mentors at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James O. Webb remembers his classmates at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - James O. Webb reflects upon the racial discrimination in the South
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James O. Webb recalls his confinement to the campus of Morehouse College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James O. Webb describes his impressions of Benjamin Mays
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James O. Webb remembers his mischief at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James O. Webb recalls his decision to remain at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James O. Webb recalls his sophomore year at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James O. Webb recalls pledging to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James O. Webb remembers changing his major to business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James O. Webb recalls his graduation from Morehouse College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James O. Webb reflects upon his experiences in the South, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James O. Webb reflects upon his experiences in the South, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James O. Webb describes his activities as an alumnus of Morehouse College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James O. Webb remembers his senior year at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James O. Webb remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James O. Webb recalls working for the Dunbar Life Insurance Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James O. Webb describes his wife's family background
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James O. Webb talks about his wife's relationship with the King family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James O. Webb remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James O. Webb describes his wedding
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James O. Webb recalls being stationed in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James O. Webb recalls his return from U.S. military service
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James O. Webb describes the actuarial science program at the University of Michigan
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James O. Webb talks about the early African American actuaries
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James O. Webb describes the actuarial profession
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James O. Webb remembers his experiences of hiring discrimination
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James O. Webb describes his position at the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James O. Webb recalls his recruitment to the Supreme Life Insurance Company of America
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James O. Webb remembers the birth of his children
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James O. Webb describes his experiences at the Supreme Life Insurance Company of America
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - James O. Webb recalls joining the staff of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James O. Webb recalls moving to Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James O. Webb describes his career at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James O. Webb describes his role at the American Academy of Actuaries
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James O. Webb talks about the opportunities for African Americans in actuarial science
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James O. Webb describes his activism in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James O. Webb describes his role on the school board in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James O. Webb recalls joining the Dental Network of America, LLC, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James O. Webb recalls joining the Dental Network of America, LLC, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James O. Webb recalls his mayoral campaign in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - James O. Webb describes his achievements as the mayor of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - James O. Webb describes his children's involvement in the community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James O. Webb narrates his photographs
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Slating of James O. Webb's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James O. Webb recalls discrimination as treasurer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James O. Webb reflects upon his position as the treasurer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - James O. Webb recalls becoming the CEO of the Dental Network of America, LLC
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - James O. Webb reflects upon his experiences at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - James O. Webb talks about the changes in the healthcare industry
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - James O. Webb describes the growth of the healthcare industry
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - James O. Webb talks about the history of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - James O. Webb recalls the acquisition of the Dental Network of America, LLC
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - James O. Webb remembers the growth of the Dental Network of America, LLC
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - James O. Webb reflects upon the growth of the Dental Network of America, LLC
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - James O. Webb describes his role in the Chicago Caucus, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - James O. Webb describes his role in the Chicago Caucus, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - James O. Webb describes the Chicago Forum
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - James O. Webb remembers Eleanor Petersen
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - James O. Webb recalls his role with the Chicago Black United Fund
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - James O. Webb reflects upon the impact of the Chicago Forum
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - James O. Webb talks about race relations in Corporate America
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - James O. Webb describes the Home Investments Fund
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - James O. Webb reflects upon the success of the Home Investments Fund, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - James O. Webb reflects upon the success of the Home Investments Fund, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - James O. Webb remembers purchasing a home in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - James O. Webb describes his neighborhood in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 10 Story: 10 - James O. Webb recalls his civic activities in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 10 Story: 11 - James O. Webb remembers his recruitment as a mayoral candidate in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 10 Story: 12 - James O. Webb describes the notable African American families in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Slating of James O. Webb's interview, session 3
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - James O. Webb talks about moving to Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - James O. Webb describes the community of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - James O. Webb describes the African American community on the North Shore of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - James O. Webb talks about his interest in the community of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - James O. Webb describes the changes in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - James O. Webb talks about raising children in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - James O. Webb reflects upon his role on the school board of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - James O. Webb recalls being approached to run for mayor of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 11 Story: 10 - James O. Webb describes the system of government in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - James O. Webb describes his experiences as mayor of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - James O. Webb talks about his achievements as mayor of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - James O. Webb describes the election process in Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - James O. Webb recalls his initiatives as the mayor of Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - James O. Webb talks about the development of downtown Glencoe, Illinois
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - James O. Webb remembers directing the board of the Harris Trust and Savings Bank
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - James O. Webb reflects upon his corporate board membership
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - James O. Webb talks about his role at Bank-Eubanks, LLC
  • Tape: 12 Story: 9 - James O. Webb reflects upon the racial progress in Corporate America
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - James O. Webb talks about the opportunities for African Americans in Corporate America
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - James O. Webb describes the importance of mentorship in Corporate America
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - James O. Webb describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - James O. Webb reflects upon his legacy