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John Bynoe

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Information about John Bynoe

Profile image of John Bynoe

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
City Government Official

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/25/1926
Birth Location:
Boston, Massachusetts

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
City Government Official

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/25/1926
Birth Location:
Boston
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Biography

John Garvey Bynoe, born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 25, 1926, had a distinguished career in the federal government and as a civic and community leader that spanned more than three decades. His parents, Edna V. Bynoe and John Leo Bynoe, immigrated from Barbados, in the British West Indies, in the mid-1890s. Growing up in Boston, Bynoe attended public schools, and after high school, he attended Boston University and the New England School of Law, where he received a bachelor’s of law degree in 1957.

As a veteran of World War II, Bynoe was one of the youngest veterans to lead a Veterans of Foreign War Post when he was elected commander of Post 953 in Boston in 1947. He also served as chairman of the Veterans Committee of the Boston Branch of the NAACP. Following his military service, Bynoe became an employee of the federal government in 1948, starting as a supply clerk in the regional office of the Federal Security Agency in Boston, which later became the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).

In the early 1950s, Bynoe became a claims representative in the Social Security Administration district office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He remained in that post until 1954, when he was promoted from the position of field representative to assistant district manager in Salem. The following year, he became manager of the Social Security Administration district office in Norwood, Massachusetts. In July of 1966, Bynoe returned to the HEW regional office and assumed the position of program coordinator for civil rights on the staff of the HEW regional director. The following year, the Regional Office for Civil Rights was established, and Bynoe was named director, a position he held until his retirement in 1982. Under his tenure, the largest number of Blacks, Asians and Hispanics ever to enter federal service in New England did so with his guidance and training.

Throughout his career, Bynoe was active in many social and civic organizations. He was a founder and director of Boston’s first Black-owned bank, Unity Bank and Trust. He also served on the board of directors for the Boston branch of the NAACP, the Boston Legal Aid Society, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and the Massachusetts Pre-Engineering program. Between 1979 and 1982, Bynoe also served as the chairman of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.

Between 1969 and 1989, Bynoe owned and operated the Professional and Business Men’s Club. The P&B Club served as a vital community site for community meetings, forums and social and professional networking for Boston’s black men and women of all classes and backgrounds. Bynoe and his wife, Louise, had two children, James and Jonathan. He had a son, John, Jr., and a daughter, Sandra, from a previous marriage.

Bynoe passed away on August 13, 2009 at age 82.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Bynoe interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Bynoe names his occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Bynoe's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Bynoe describes his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Bynoe remembers his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Bynoe discusses his parents' immigration to Canada and the U.S.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Bynoe names his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Bynoe describes his father's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Bynoe recalls his childhood home, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Bynoe describes his family's connectedness to Barbados
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Bynoe discusses his school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - John Bynoe discusses his early career aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - John Bynoe discusses his high school activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - John Bynoe describes his involvement in the church as a youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - John Bynoe describes his family's association with Marcus Garvey
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - John Bynoe remembers his older brother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Bynoe describes his employment after high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Bynoe recalls his law school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Bynoe describes his career trajectory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Bynoe describes his community involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Bynoe discusses his involvement in electoral politics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Bynoe describes his affiliation with the Professional Businessmen's Club, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Bynoe discusses his career with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Bynoe details his involvement with the Urban League
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Bynoe discusses his involvement with the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Bynoe describes an organized effort to end segregation in Boston, Massachusetts schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Bynoe describes his efforts toward the preservation of historical sites
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Bynoe reflects on his life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Bynoe predicts racial unity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Bynoe evaluates the state of black youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Bynoe considers highlights in his life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Bynoe considers his legacy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Photo - John Bynoe as a baby, ca. 1927
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Photo - John Bynoe in the St. Cyprian's Church drum and bugle corps, Boston, Massachusetts, 1938
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Photo - John Bynoe's mother, age ninety-four, ca. 1990s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Photo - John Bynoe on the Fort Devens football team, Ayer, Massachusetts, 1947
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Photo - John Bynoe in the U.S. military, Goettingen, Germany, ca. 1945
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Photo - John Bynoe, ca. 1958
  • Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Photo - John Bynoe graduates from Portia Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, early 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 17 - Photo - John Bynoe is appointed as District Manager of the Social Security Administration District Office, Norwood, Massachusetts, 1965
  • Tape: 3 Story: 18 - Photo - John Bynoe and others at the NAACP Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, 1967
  • Tape: 3 Story: 19 - Photo - Button from John Bynoe's campaign for a seat in the Massachusetts State Senate
  • Tape: 3 Story: 20 - Photo - John Bynoe serves as Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, late 1990s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 21 - Photo - John Bynoe with John Maddox of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 22 - Photo - Chairman John Bynoe with other participants of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge conference, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 23 - Photo - John Bynoe with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Wilks at a forum event, Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1956
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Photo - John Bynoe with relatives in Canada
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Photo - John Bynoe's relatives visiting his mother at a nursing home
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Photo - John Bynoe with his wife and sons at a birthday party, 2004
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - John Bynoe's son and his family at a christening
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - John Bynoe's eldest son with his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - John Bynoe with his wife and sons at a birthday party, 2004
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - John Bynoe's brother and other relatives celebrate their mother's birthday at a nursing home
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - John Bynoe with Michael Dukakis during his campaign for president, Des Moines, Iowa, 1988
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - John Bynoe's family members attend a Prince Hall Lodge event in his honor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - John Bynoe in Mashpee, Massachusetts, 2003