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Raymond Haysbert, Sr.

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Information about Raymond Haysbert, Sr.

Profile image of Raymond Haysbert, Sr.

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Business Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Sausage
Favorite Time of Year:
Thanksgiving
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paradise Island, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
It Is Not Where You Start, It Is Where You Finish.

Birthplace

Born:
1/19/1920
Birth Location:
Cincinnati, Ohio

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Business Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Sausage
Favorite Time of Year:
Thanksgiving
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paradise Island, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
It Is Not Where You Start, It Is Where You Finish.

Birthplace

Born:
1/19/1920
Birth Location:
Cincinnati
See how Raymond Haysbert, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Prominent Baltimore businessman Raymond Haysbert was born in a slum in Cincinnati on January 19, 1920. Haysbert was the fourth of eight children, and three of his younger siblings died while he was still a child. His father moved away when he was eight years old, and with the Depression following soon after, Haysbert and his three brothers went to work. He continued with school, and after graduating he enlisted in an ROTC program at Wilberforce University in Ohio. Haysbert was forced to drop out of school his third year to make money, and when World War II broke out, he joined up with the Tuskegee Airmen in Italy.

After returning from the war, Haysbert married his college sweetheart, Carol Roberts, to whom he had been introduced by Henry Parks in 1952. Parks had opened up his Baltimore sausage factory only a year before, and was struggling to make a go of it in an environment filled with bigotry. Haysbert and Parks partnered and began selling Parks Sausage throughout Baltimore, delivering fresh sausages daily to stores. The strategy was a success, and by 1955 Parks Sausage was a sponsor of the World Series. The company, which had reported losses in its first two years in existence, was reporting gross annual profits of $6 million by 1966 and $9 million in 1968. Parks Sausage became the first black-owned company to go public in 1969.

Following on his successes, Haysbert was named president of the company in 1974, and when the company was sold to a conglomerate in 1977, he made more than $1 million. By the mid-1980s, Parks Sausage was making almost $30 million a year, and Haysbert was serving on several boards of directors, including on the Baltimore Federal Reserve. By the 1990s, however, things were not so good. Corporate clients buying massive quantities began finding other suppliers and health consciousness hurt sales. After a heart attack in 1994, Haysbert handed over the presidency to his son, Reginald, but remained on as CEO. At the same time, he bought back the 49 percent of the company owned by Sara Lee, making Haysbert a 97.5 percent owner of the company. Creditors continued to add up, however, and by 1995, Parks was sold.

Today, Haysbert is still active on the front of encouraging African American-owned businesses, and is president of a family catering business, Forum Caterers. In light of his recent heart troubles, he has also become active with the American Heart Association, serving as honorary chairman of Operation Heartbeat.

Mr. Haysbert passed away on May 24, 2010.

See how Raymond Haysbert, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Raymond Haysbert, Sr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his mother and siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his father, William Haysbert
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. shares his memories of school in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the black community in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about his activities in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes attending Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio with Leontyne Price
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about Central State University and his social life at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes training in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about being part of the ground crew during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. recalls finishing his degrees at Wilberforce University and Central State University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. recalls joining Park Sausage Company in 1952
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about racism in selling sausages
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the visual marketing of sausage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the success and distribution of Parks Sausage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes advertising Parks Sausages
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes Parks Sausage Company's special sausage recipe
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about disguising race in the marketing of Parks sausages
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes buying Parks Sausages Company in 1980
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. recalls running Parks Sausage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. reflects upon how racism impacted his business career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes how positive thinking impacted his relations with his employees
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the different products that Parks Sausage made
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about the failure of adding ice cream to Parks Sausage products
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his political involvement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about black politicians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes President Bill Clinton
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. shares his views on Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about being called the unofficial mayor of Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about the youth in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about why he is a Republican
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. reflects upon his regrets
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. narrates his photographs