The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Larry Huggins

Share on Social Media

Information about Larry Huggins

Profile image of Larry Huggins

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Construction Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
At The End Of The Day.

Birthplace

Born:
2/5/1950
Birth Location:
Atlanta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Construction Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
At The End Of The Day.

Birthplace

Born:
2/5/1950
Birth Location:
Atlanta
See how Larry Huggins is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Pioneering construction executive Larry Andrew Huggins was born on February 5, 1950 in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois to Mary Hightower. The second of four siblings, he graduated from Englewood High School in 1968 and continued his education at Washburne Trade School, where he got his painter’s certificate in 1972.

Huggins began his career as a painter for the black-owned Brown’s Drywall Company in 1975. His own company, Riteway Construction, began as Riteway Painting and Decorating in 1983, and with help from mentoring by larger firms and projects set aside in affirmative action programs, Huggins’ company acquired several of the most pivotal construction projects of the time including the Harold Washington Library, the United Airlines terminal at O’Hare Airport and the Chicago Board of Trade building. Huggins’ company, Riteway Construction, saw continued success in the 1990s and landed a joint deal as contractor for the Unicom Thermal Technologies, Inc., the $6 million district cooling plant. Huggins was a founding member of Black Contractors United, which continues to support and pave the way for African Americans in the construction industry.

Huggins and Riteway Construction have committed to many projects on Chicago’s West and South Sides. Riteway Construction continues to flourish as an award-winning construction service, obtaining major municipal, residential and commercial ventures each year, including the 2005 McCormick Place expansion and remodeling an apartment complex defaulted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1997. In 1997, Huggins became the first African American to sit on the board of Chicago’s commuter rail system, Metra. In 2001, Riteway Construction was contracted on the ten-year re-development of the Ida B. Wells housing projects, which a team including Riteway Construction have worked to rebuild into market-rate, affordable housing for the Chicago Housing Authority.

Many of Huggins’ numerous philanthropic efforts lead back to his childhood community in Chicago. He gives scholarships to single-parent children and created a $10,000 yearly scholarship at Englewood High School. Huggins is a continuous participant in the Chicago Public School’s “Principal for a Day” Program. In 1996, he gave $7,000 worth of toys to children in his old neighborhood of Englewood. Many organizations have recognized Huggins for his groundbreaking career and service to the Chicago community, including the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Urban League, the African American Contractors Association, Bank of America and the Chicago Economic Development Corporation. He is still a resident of Chicago and was honored by Englewood High School with the Larry Huggins Basketball Shootout.

Huggins was interviewed by The Historymakers on February 4, 2008.

See how Larry Huggins is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins narrates his photographs
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Larry Huggins' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins describe his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins describes his father's work ethic
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins describes his home life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins describes his brothers' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Huggins talks about his grandmothers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins recalls the summers in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins recalls his early personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins describes his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls living with his aunt
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins describes the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins remembers the gang activity in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins describes his extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins recalls his influences at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Huggins remembers the impact of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls his decision to attend the Washburne Trade School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins describes his training at the Washburne Trade School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins remembers integrating the Washburne Trade School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins recalls his first position as a professional painter
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls his painting apprenticeship at the Washburne Trade School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins describes lessons from his career as a painter
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins recalls his decision to become a self-employed contract painter
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins remembers the African American general contractors in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins recalls the founding of Riteway Painting and Decorating, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins describes his role as the president of Riteway Painting and Decorating Company, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Huggins describes Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's minority business initiative
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins remembers founding the Black Contractors United
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins recalls the election of Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins talks about the construction contracts at Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins remembers his contracts at Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls his political activism in the City of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins recalls a conflict within the Black Contractors United
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins recalls his role in Harold Washington's mayoral administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls the end of Chicago's minority business initiative under Mayor Richard M. Daley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins recalls his contract to paint the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins recalls his contract to paint the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins remember the mentorship of Gerald McCollam
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins describes his firm's relationship with the Tribco Construction Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins recalls lessons from his career as a general contractor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins talks about his bankruptcy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins describes his relationship with the Turner Construction Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins recalls his first project as a general contractor
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls his collaboration with Nelson Carlo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins describes the difference between a joint venture and subcontracting
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins recalls his endorsement of Jim Edgar's gubernatorial campaign in Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins recalls his work on the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls the divisions within the Black Contractors United
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins recalls his decision to leave the Black Contractors United
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins talks about his departure from the Black Contractors United
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins remembers his nomination to the Metra board
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins recalls the issues during his tenure on the Metra board
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins remembers organizing the Chicago Football Classic
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls the creation of the Chicago Football Classic
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins talks about the Chicago Football Classic
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins describes the Christmas in Englewood Foundation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins talks about his civic activities in the Englewood community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins reflects upon his career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins describes his advice to aspiring construction company founders
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins describes how he would like to be remembered