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Robert D. Blackwell, Sr.

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Information about Robert D. Blackwell, Sr.

Profile image of Robert D. Blackwell, Sr.

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive
Technology Chief Executive
Technology Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Now You Understand Me, Right?

Birthplace

Born:
7/28/1937
Birth Location:
Eastville, Virginia

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive
Technology Chief Executive
Technology Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Now You Understand Me, Right?

Birthplace

Born:
7/28/1937
Birth Location:
Eastville
See how Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Corporate executive and technology entrepreneur Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. was born July 28, 1937, in Eastville, Virginia. He attended Rosemont Elementary near his boyhood home of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, a very wealthy community. Blackwell graduated from Radnor High School in 1955, and went on to Wichita State University on an athletic scholarship, where he played football with future NFL Rookie of the Year running back, Ted Dean. Forced by injuries to leave football, Blackwell came under the guidance of his math teacher, Ms. Fugate, and graduated with a B.A. in psychology in 1966.

In 1966, Blackwell went to work for IBM while the business computer industry was in its infancy. Beginning as a systems engineer, Blackwell was working as an IBM salesman by 1970. He left IBM for a brief period to work in public relations for the State of Kansas. Blackwell then returned to IBM; this time, as director of Greater Chicago Consulting Services. After serving as IBM’s highest-ranking black executive, Blackwell left IBM in 1992 to form Blackwell Consulting with his son, Robert Blackwell, Jr. The younger Blackwell would later form his own entrepreneurial company, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. Based in Chicago, Blackwell Consulting and their nationwide offices offer a range of IT services, from web portal development to networking, messaging systems and workflow applications, generating revenues in excess of $37 million per year.

Blackwell and his wife, Marjilee, live in the Chicago area. He is a board member of the eta Creative Arts Foundation, the Joel Hall Dancers and is a supporter of other non-profit arts organizations and community initiatives. He enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren.

See how Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert D. Blackwell, Sr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his mother's views of success
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his mother's views of the black power movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes how he takes after each of his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about the influence of Bryn Mawr College on his parents' class mentality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about the difference between his father and his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his experience in school and his first understandings of racism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about sports and the racism he witnessed outside of Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about his experience at the predominately white Radnor High School in Radnor, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about how he was treated by his coaches
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about enrolling at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his experience at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his experience at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about those he met at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about his interest in psychology and his decision to work for IBM
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes being offered a position at IBM
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his experience working for IBM and the State of Kansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. reflects on his career at IBM
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes how he met his wife and living away from his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about his decision to move to Wheaton, Illinois instead of the South Side of Chicago, Illinois in 1973
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his job with IBM in Chicago, Illinois and why he left IBM in 1992
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about starting Blackwell Consulting Services with his son, Robert Blackwell, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes the success of Blackwell Consulting Services
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his hopes for Blackwell Consulting Services, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his hopes for Blackwell Consulting Services, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about his confidence in Blackwell Consulting Services to become a major competitor in computer consulting
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about the difficulty of training employees at a small firm
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about Blackwell Consulting Services clients and locations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. talks about the importance of black arts programs
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. shares his advice for young African Americans in business
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. reflects upon what he would do differently in his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered