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John Jacob "Jake" Oliver

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Information about John Jacob "Jake" Oliver

Profile image of John Jacob "Jake" Oliver

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Lawyer
Newspaper Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Gray
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Fall, Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/20/1945
Birth Location:
Baltimore, Maryland

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Lawyer
Newspaper Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Gray
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Fall, Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/20/1945
Birth Location:
Baltimore
See how John Jacob "Jake" Oliver is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

John Jacob “Jake” Oliver, great grandson of Afro-American Newspaper founder John J. Murphy and current CEO of the Afro-American Newspapers, was born July 20, 1945 in Baltimore, Maryland. His entrance into sixth grade was used to integrate the previously all white John E. Howard Elementary School. Oliver attended Garrison Junior High School and graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1963. He attended the University of Maryland for two years, but transferred to Fisk University in Nashville, where he flourished under the tutelage of Dr. Jimmy Lawson, Dr. Theodore Courtney, David Driskell and Arna Bontemps. Oliver graduated from Fisk University in 1969 where he was a student leader. He went on to Columbia University Law School where he earned his J.D. degree in 1972.

From 1972 to 1978, Oliver practiced corporate law as an associate with the firm of Davis, Polk and Wardell in New York City. It was founding partner J. W. Davis who had lost the landmark federal Brown v. The Board Education case. Returning to the Washington and Baltimore area, Oliver served as corporate counsel for General Electric from 1978 to 1982. However, Oliver decided to return to help with the family newspaper, the Afro-American, and then, in 1982, Oliver became its publisher, chairman and chief operating officer.

Since taking over the helm, Oliver has overhauled the Afro-American Newspapers and the African American (the AFRO) publishing business, resulting in increased circulation. Today, the AFRO is digitally connected to three offices in Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Richmond as well as its printer in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Oliver serves as a board member of First Mariner Bank, past president of the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA) and chairman of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

See how John Jacob "Jake" Oliver is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Jacob "Jake" Oliver's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his father's education at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his father's relationships with members of the Murphy family of Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his childhood home in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his father's jobs at the Afro-American Company, later the Afro-American Newspapers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes the sights and smells of his childhood in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his elementary school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls the fear he experienced transferring to John Eager Howard Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his experience at Garrison Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his experience at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his academic performance and classes at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls a homeroom teacher and a friend from Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains how Emmett Till's murder affected his racial consciousness
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains his trepidation about attending the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls the hostile campus atmosphere of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland in the early 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls disliking the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland as an undergraduate student
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver remembers transferring from University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his undergraduate experience at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes the 1967 campus riots in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his tenure as editor-in-chief of the Fisk Forum at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his professors at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about black power activists and his decision to attend Columbia Law School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes living in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his mother's death
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes working in the New York Times newsroom in 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls conversations he had with pressroom workers at the New York Times in 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls conversations he had with prostitutes in Times Square, New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his first year at Columbia Law School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about the Socratic Method of law instruction and his interest in tax law
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about graduating from Columbia Law School and accepting a position at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes working at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver comments upon the experiences of African American lawyers on Wall Street in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls meeting Kenneth Chenault as an associate at Davis Polk & Hardwell in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about working as corporate counsel for General Electric
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about acquisition deals he brokered for General Electric
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about reforming operating procedures as vice chairman of AFRO-American Newspapers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains how he and his cousin, HistoryMaker Reverend Frances Murphy Draper assumed control of Afro-American Newspapers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about reforming production procedures as CEO of AFRO-American Newspapers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about reforming delivery procedures for the AFRO-American Newspapers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains how new typesetting techniques made newspaper printing more efficient
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about healing family relationships and the future of Afro-American Newspapers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about the Afro-American Newspapers' online presence
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about sports journalist, Sam Lacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about Romare Bearden's 1930s cartoons for the Afro-American Newspapers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about cartoonists and journalists who have contributed to the Afro-American Newspapers, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about cartoonists and journalists who have contributed to the Afro-American Newspapers, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about the Afro-American Newspapers' plans to reach a younger audience
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his initiatives as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver considers what he would have done differently
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver comments upon the relationship between politics and African American newspapers
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his work on the Maryland Higher Education Commission
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes how he would like to be remembered