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Robert James

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Information about Robert James

Profile image of Robert James

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Bank Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Okra
Favorite Time of Year:
January
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I'd Rather Be A Could-be If I Cannot Be An Are; Because A Could-be Is A Maybe Who Is Reaching For A Star. I'd Rather Be A Has-been Than A Might-Have-been, By Far; For A Might Have-been Has Never Been, But A Has Was Once An Are.

Birthplace

Born:
11/21/1946
Birth Location:
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Bank Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Okra
Favorite Time of Year:
January
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I'd Rather Be A Could-be If I Cannot Be An Are; Because A Could-be Is A Maybe Who Is Reaching For A Star. I'd Rather Be A Has-been Than A Might-Have-been, By Far; For A Might Have-been Has Never Been, But A Has Was Once An Are.

Birthplace

Born:
11/21/1946
Birth Location:
Hattiesburg
See how Robert James is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Bank president and entrepreneur Robert Earl James was born on November 21, 1946, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to Annie Mae and Jimmie James, Sr. James graduated from L.J. Rowan High School in 1964, after which he received his B.A. degree in accounting from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1968, James became one of the first African Americans to be accepted into Harvard Business School.

After obtaining his M.B.A. in 1970, James became President of Carver State Bank in Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest African American-owned commercial banks. During his thirty-year tenure as President and CEO of Carver State Bank, James pioneered the re-development of Atlanta’s inner city as well as helped avert the financial crisis of Morris Brown College. In addition, James acted as Chairman of the National Bankers Association in 1978 and 1990. From 1981 to 2002, James served on the board of the Georgia Telecommunication Authority; he also purchased and revived The Savannah Tribune (now known as The Tribune). In 1989, James became the owner and publisher of The Fort Valley Herald; both are publications dedicated to the African American community.

James was recognized for his work with various honors and awards, including being named one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine in 2003, and being awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Bankers Association.

James and his wife, Shirley James, who is the editor of The Tribune, lived in Savannah, Georgia; they raised three children.

See how Robert James is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert James' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert James lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert James describes his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert James describes his mother's personality and community involvement
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert James describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert James describes his mother's educational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert James describes his father and the parent he takes after most
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert James lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert James describes his childhood homes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert James describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert James describes his childhood neighborhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert James describes his experiences at Grace Love Elementary School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert James describes his childhood extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Robert James describes his mother's cooking for holiday celebrations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert James recalls his involvement in the African Methodist Episcopal church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert James remembers learning to play the saxophone
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert James recalls listening to baseball games on the radio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert James recalls playing in the high school band
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert James remembers his involvement in national student council meetings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert James describes his organizational activities in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert James describes his teachers at L.J. Rowan High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert James remembers his high school friends
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert James describes his high school jobs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert James recalls his decision to attend Morris Brown College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert James recalls his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Robert James describes his reaction to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert James recalls his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert James recalls cross burnings and the bombing of Vernon Dahmer's home
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert James recalls attending Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert James explains why he attended a historically black college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert James describes his experiences at Morris Brown College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert James recalls avoiding the Vietnam War draft
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert James recalls his brothers' U.S. military service
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert James remembers his friend, Paul C. Bland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert James recalls his accounting training at Armco Steel Corporation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert James remembers meeting his wife, Shirley James
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Robert James recalls his experiences at Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert James remembers his classmates at the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert James reflects upon the importance of community involvement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert James recalls recruiting black students to the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert James recalls his internship at The Citizens and Southern National Bank of Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert James remembers moving to Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert James recalls attending Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert James remembers the birth of his son
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert James describes his family's legacy at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert James recalls the political involvement of The Citizens and Southern National Bank of Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert James recalls becoming the president of Carver State Bank
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert James describes his involvement in fraternities, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert James describes his involvement in fraternities, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert James recounts the history of Savannah's Carver State Bank
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert James talks about Carver State Bank's financial growth
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert James talks about the importance of African American owned businesses
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert James talks about the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert James talks about government minority finance programs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert James describes his book, 'The Mississippi Black Bankers and Their Institutions,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert James describes his book, 'The Mississippi Black Bankers and Their Institutions,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert James talks about his son, Robert E. James, II
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert James describes his older daughter, Anne James Gennaio
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert James describes his younger daughter, Rachelle James Gregory
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert James talks about his honorary degrees
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert James describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert James shares his message to future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert James describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert James reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert James narrates his photographs