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John Hope Bryant

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Information about John Hope Bryant

Profile image of John Hope Bryant

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak (Rib Eye)
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Maui, Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
I'm Blessed.

Birthplace

Born:
2/6/1966
Birth Location:
Los Angeles, California

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak (Rib Eye)
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Maui, Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
I'm Blessed.

Birthplace

Born:
2/6/1966
Birth Location:
Los Angeles
See how John Hope Bryant is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Nonprofit chief executive, author, activist and entrepreneur John Hope Bryant was born on February 6, 1966 in Los Angeles, California to Juanita Smith and Johnnie Will Smith. Bryant was raised primarily in Compton and in the South Central area of Los Angeles. He graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1984.

At the age of twenty-six, Bryant founded Operation HOPE immediately following the L.A. Riots of 1992 when the LAPD police officers charged with beating Rodney King were acquitted. Operation HOPE, Inc. is a non-profit, public benefit, investment banking organization. The organization is composed, in part, of a national network of inner-city banking centers called HOPE Centers, serving low-wealth communities by offering hope and converting check cashing customers to banking customers. These centers also provide financial literacy education. Bryant is also the author of Banking on our Future: a Program for Teaching You and your Kids about Money (2002). In 2004, Bryant was appointed by President George W. Bush to a 4-year term on the non-partisan U.S. Community Development Advisory Board for the CDFI Fund at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Bryant serves on the board of trustees for the First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, the national board for the Black Leadership Forum, the board of visitors for Xavier University, the board of governors for the City Club on Bunker Hill, the board of directors of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, the national honorary board for the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the board of the John & Sheila Kennedy-Bryant Family Foundation. Bryant is also the namesake of the John Bryant Scholarship in Urban Social Development, a permanent scholarship fund, established and set aside to fund the dreams of deserving minority and low-wealth young adults at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work.

Bryant has received more than 400 awards and citations for his work to empower low-wealth communities including the Use Your Life Award from Oprah Winfrey. In 1994, Bryant was selected by TIME Magazine for their “America’s 50 Most Promising Leaders of the Future” cover story. He became the first African American in history to be knighted by German nobility and the royal House of Lippe in 1998. He was named a “Community Hero” by People Magazine on the 10th anniversary of the L.A. Riots of 1992. Bryant received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters from Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, for his work around education and poverty eradication. The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland nominated Bryant as one of 238 young leaders selected from around the world to serve as a member of the new Forum of Young Global Leaders. Bryant received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Excellence in Leadership Award at the 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner in Chicago, Illinois.

Bryant resides in Los Angeles with his wife Sheila Jenine Kennedy-Bryant.

Bryant was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2008.

See how John Hope Bryant is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Hope Bryant's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Hope Bryant lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Hope Bryant describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Hope Bryant describes his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Hope Bryant describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Hope Bryant talks about his upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Hope Bryant describes his family's entrepreneurship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Hope Bryant shares a story about his maternal uncle
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Hope Bryant describes his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Hope Bryant recalls living with his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Hope Bryant remembers moving to live with his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - John Hope Bryant talks about his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - John Hope Bryant describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Hope Bryant describes his parents' move to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Hope Bryant lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Hope Bryant remembers his childhood friends and neighbors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Hope Bryant describes his first business venture
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Hope Bryant describes his candy sales business
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Hope Bryant recalls Colin P. Kelly Elementary School in Compton, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Hope Bryant remembers the Hollywood Professional School in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Hope Bryant talks about his career as a child actor
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Hope Bryant recalls transferring to Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Hope Bryant describes his neighborhoods in California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - John Hope Bryant recalls his parents' businesses
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - John Hope Bryant talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - John Hope Bryant describes his religious upbringing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Hope Bryant remembers the New Mount Cavalry Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Hope Bryant describes his early aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Hope Bryant talks about his career as an entrepreneur
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Hope Bryant remembers his failed concert promotion company