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Michael Roberts, Sr.

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Information about Michael Roberts, Sr.

Profile image of Michael Roberts, Sr.

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
City Alderman
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Fake It Until You Make It.

Birthplace

Born:
10/24/1948
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
City Alderman
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Fake It Until You Make It.

Birthplace

Born:
10/24/1948
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Michael Roberts, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Entrepreneur Michael Victor Roberts, Sr. was born on October 24, 1948, in St. Louis, Missouri to Delores Talley Roberts and Victor Roberts. He grew up the first of four siblings. The Roberts family was educated in the St. Louis Public School System, and Roberts began working as a youth, earning money doing chores around the neighborhood and delivering newspapers. Roberts heard St. Louis’ Dick Gregory talk about the Civil Rights Movement and was inspired. Graduating from Northwest High School in 1967, where he played the trombone and tennis, Roberts attended Central Missouri State University and Forest Park Community College. He met Jack Danforth at Camp Minnewanka and finished Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri as a Danforth Fellow. He began his first business selling dashikis and other African merchandise to area bookstores. Roberts studied law at St. Louis University School of Law, and in 1974, earned his J.D. degree and began Roberts-Roberts and Associates, a business and construction management firm headquartered in St. Louis.

In 1976, Roberts worked as St. Louis campaign manager for Jimmy Carter, and after Carter’s election as U.S. President, he was a regular guest at the White House. One year later, Roberts was elected the youngest alderman in St. Louis. His brother, Steven C. Roberts, would claim this title two years later, serving along with Mike Jones, Virvus Jones and Wayman Smith. Roberts was the chief sponsor of the St. Louis Center and Union Station developments, and he was involved in major redevelopment efforts for the City of St. Louis.

In 1981, Roberts and his brother began Roberts Broadcasting. After establishing WRBU-TV in St. Louis, the Roberts Brothers would build eleven more television stations across the country, from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Mobile, Alabama. While building these stations, the Roberts Brothers founded Roberts Construction Company in 1989. This additional business enterprise supplemented the commercial and residential developments the brothers had established in 1982 known as Roberts Brothers Properties.

In 1999, the Roberts Brothers opened the first Sprint PCS-affiliated wireless store in Jefferson City, Missouri. It was the only PCS-affiliated company owned by African Americans. The Roberts Companies include a $460 million thirty-four-company organization, with an aviation division, a gated Bahamas community and other real estate developments. Roberts serves as chairman of the board, while his brother Steven serves as president.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michael Roberts, Sr.'s interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the black neighborhoods of St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Steven Roberts, Sr. remembers meeting his paternal cousin
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his paternal family's move to St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls his father's service in the U.S. military
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his father's career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers moving to San Francisco Court in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about his light complexion, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about his light complexion, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his schooling in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his early activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michael Roberts, Sr. narrates a photograph of Dick Gregory and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his early work experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls his early cultural experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his experiences in college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers Lindenwood College for Men in St. Charles, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about his interest in existentialism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers lessons from Sam Lapp
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls the development of his interest in law
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls working at Camp Miniwanca in Stony Lake, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Michael Roberts, Sr.'s interview, session 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls buying a home in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls integrating the New York Athletic Club
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers integrating the Missouri Athletic Club
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers The Hague Academy in the Netherlands
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his meeting with F.W. de Klerk
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls working as a campaign manager for President Jimmy Carter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his work with the St. Louis Board of Aldermen
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Michael Roberts, Sr. reflects upon his role at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michael Roberts, Sr. reflects upon his role at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls serving as a diplomatic delegate to Brazil
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about his research on his paternal family, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about his research on his paternal family, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers registering voters in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the voting rights case of Roberts v. Wamser
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about the case of Bush v. Gore
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his criticism of President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his relationships with black elected officials
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls acquiring of the Sears, Roebuck and Co. building in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls his first television station acquisition
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the importance of business relationships
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls his partnership with the Home Shopping Network
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the Roberts Broadcasting Company's workforce
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. recalls the development of Roberts Wireless Communications
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers partnering with Lucent Technologies, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers WorldCom's acquisition of the Sprint PCS Group
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the success of The Shops at Roberts Village in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about inner city revitalization
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes The Roberts Companies' real estate in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. reflects upon The Roberts Companies' business philosophy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the Roberts Hotels Group, LLC, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the Roberts Hotels Group, LLC, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes plans for the A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the Roberts Mayfair Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the Roberts Hotels Group, LLC's success
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes the opportunities for African Americans in business
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about the success of The Roberts Companies
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his advice for young people
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about the challenges he faced in business
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Michael Roberts, Sr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Michael Roberts, Sr. remembers his mother's college graduation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his children
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Michael Roberts, Sr. talks about his wife, Jeanne Gore Roberts
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes his book, 'Action Has No Season'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Michael Roberts, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Michael Roberts, Sr. narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Michael Roberts, Sr. narrates his photographs, pt. 2