Technology entrepreneur and technology executive Paul Gregory McDonald was born on February 23, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois to Josephine McDonald and Frederick Douglas McDonald, an evangelical minister. McDonald grew up in Chicago, down the street from his mentor, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks. McDonald attended Hirsch High School in Chicago, where he was heavily involved in Operation Breadbasket and became the business manager for the Young Pushers, an offshoot of Jesse Jackson’s Operation Push organization.
In 1967, McDonald graduated from Hirsch High School and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. However, his baseball career was interrupted when he was drafted by the United States military. McDonald served in the Vietnam War as a television cameraman, flying over the country filming the terrain. Although he did not attend college, McDonald took management courses with Xerox, IBM, Minolta and Fidelity Union Life Insurance. With this experience, McDonald founded a series of companies aimed at researching infrastructure and systems development, including Creative Systems Business Development Foundation, The Pilot Business Corporation, Global Business Development Architects, Common Communications Commission, the Cooperative Sports Incubator and CyberPark, U.S.A. McDonald also led a partnership with downtown Los Angeles’ community development agencies in order to foster business development in the area. In 1991, McDonald founded Global Business Incubation, Inc. (GBI), and became its Chief Research Officer. The company was started as a joint venture with Loyola Marymount University to connect California businesses with technology and manufacturing opportunities. As Chief Research Officer, McDonald oversaw technology and multi-media infrastructure development. In 1993, GBI and Loyola Marymount joined the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences in creating an Advanced Manufacturing Science and Technology Center.
McDonald is also responsible for the Lou Myers Scenario Motion Picture Institute Theater, which helped 100 inner city youth apprentices in the building of a film studio. In 2000, McDonald received the White House Millennium Council Award for encouraging business development in Los Angeles.
Paul McDonald was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 19, 2007.