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Mel Farr, Sr.

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Information about Mel Farr, Sr.

Profile image of Mel Farr, Sr.

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Auto Sales Entrepreneur
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
You only gonna earn today what your skills and efforts allow you to and no more.

Birthplace

Born:
11/3/1944
Birth Location:
Beaumont, Texas

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Auto Sales Entrepreneur
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
You only gonna earn today what your skills and efforts allow you to and no more.

Birthplace

Born:
11/3/1944
Birth Location:
Beaumont
See how Mel Farr, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Mel Farr enjoyed success on and off the football field. Farr was an All American and All Pro running back, and then later shot to the top of the African American business world when the Mel Farr Auto Group grossed a staggering $596.6 million dollars in 1998. Farr was born November 3, 1944 in Beaumont, Texas, to Miller Farr, Sr. and Doretha Farr.

A natural athlete, Farr excelled in baseball, basketball, track and football. It was football that captured Farr's imagination, as he was inspired by an outstanding collection of local heroes. Al LaBlanc, Bubba Smith, Buck Buchannan, Jerry LeVias, Warren Wells and other football greats all came from the "Golden Triangle" area around Beaumont. Farr was widely recruited from black Hebert High School in 1963, choosing the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, Farr was a consensus All American from 1963 to 1967. He was also NFL Rookie of the Year in 1967 with the Detroit Lions and made the All Pro Team in 1967 and 1972. Plagued by injuries, Farr retired in 1973, ready to make the transition from football hero to businessman.

Determined to have a career beyond the gridiron, Farr completed his degree at the University of Detroit while still in the National Football League. He worked during the off-season for the Ford Motor Company in its management program. In 1975, Mel Farr Ford opened at 2470 Greenfield Road in Oak Park, Michigan. Targeting the inner-city population with its high credit risk, but its need for automobiles and ready financing, Farr employed a variety of creative marketing and management approaches. Purchasing additional dealerships beginning in 1986, Farr's empire grew to over thirteen dealerships and a Seven-Up Bottling Plant. By 1998, the Mel Farr Auto Group was the top African American business in the country and the thirty-third largest auto dealership in the United States.

Farr passed away on August 3, 2015.

See how Mel Farr, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mel Farr interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mel Farr's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mel Farr remembers his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mel Farr discusses his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mel Farr discusses his mother's family and recalls visits to their farm
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mel Farr describes his parents' focus on the future, not the past
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mel Farr recalls segregation and a racist killing near his hometown, Beaumont, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mel Farr remembers early family trips to California and vowing to play in the Coliseum
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mel Farr recalls racial violence and tension in Beaumont, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mel Farr describes the location and climate of Beaumont, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mel Farr describes his ambitious, goal-directed childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Mel Farr talks about pursuing his goal of becoming a pro football player
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Mel Farr describes memorable figures from his school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mel Farr describes Beaumont, Texas's football tradition
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mel Farr recounts playing grade school and high school football
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mel Farr recalls his experience at UCLA
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mel Farr discusses football injuries received early in his football career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mel Farr recounts playing football at UCLA
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mel Farr recalls being drafted by the Detroit Lions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mel Farr discusses playing football for the Detroit Lions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mel Farr recounts his last year playing professional football
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mel Farr identifies notable Detroit Lions and his family's history in pro football
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mel Farr remembers beginning his career as a Ford automobile dealer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mel Farr discusses achieving success as an automobile dealer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mel Farr recalls media criticism of his business success
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mel Farr discusses the benefit of transportation for the urban poor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mel Farr discusses the significance of access to transportation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mel Farr explains how the "On Time" device assures automobile payments
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mel Farr explains using a white stand-in for some commercials
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mel Farr discusses his decision to focus on selling inexpensive cars to the urban market
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mel Farr shares his personal philosophy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mel Farr discusses the success of Korean auto makers in America
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mel Farr identifies his additional business endeavors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mel Farr shares his concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mel Farr discusses his future and his legacy