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The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Political leader Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was born on March 17, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland to Nina Rawlings and Howard Rawlings. After graduating from Western High School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1988, Rawlings-Blake received her B.A. degree in political science from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio in 1992, and her J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland in 1995.

In 1990, Rawlings-Blake served on the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee and as a member of the Young Democrats of Maryland. In 1995, Rawlings-Blake was the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council at the age of twenty-five. She was admitted to the Maryland State bar in 1996, and the federal bar the following year. She then served as an administrative law attorney with the Baltimore City office of the Maryland Legal Aid bureau and later as a staff attorney for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in its Southern District. In 1999, Rawlings-Blake was elected to serve as vice president of the Baltimore City Council; and, in 2007, she was elected president. In 2010, Rawlings-Blake stepped in as Mayor of Baltimore after then-Mayor Sheila Dixon resigned. The following year, Rawlings-Blake was elected Mayor of Baltimore. In 2013, she became secretary of the Democratic National Committee; and, in 2015, she was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In 2016, Rawlings-Blake stepped down as the Mayor of Baltimore and founded SRB & Associates, a government relations firm. In 2017, she became a senior advisor of Dentons, a multi-national law firm.

Rawlings-Blake served as chair of the Baltimore City Board of Estimates and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council Board of Directors. She co-chaired the UniverCity Partnership Initiative and served as a member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Maryland Association of Counties Legislative Committee, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, the Maryland Municipal League, the Baltimore City Board of Legislative Reference, and the Maryland African American Museum Corporation. Rawlings-Blake also served on the board of trustees for the Walters Art Museum and St. Mary’s College of Maryland, as a delegate for the Democratic Party National Convention and as secretary for the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

Rawlings-Blake received the Shirley Chisholm Memorial Trailblazer Award from the National Congress of Black Women, Washington, D.C. Chapter in 2009. In 2010, she received the Fullwood Foundation Award of Excellence and was voted “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record. She was also voted among “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” by The Daily Record in 2007 and 2011. In 2012, she received the National Leadership Award in Public Service from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. The following year, Rawlings-Blake received the ICONS We Love Award from Baltimore Black Pride, was voted among the “50 Women to Watch” by the Baltimore Sun and received the First Citizen Award from the Maryland State Senate.

Rawlings-Blake has one daughter, Sophia.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 22, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.008

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/22/2019

Last Name

Rawlings-Blake

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Western High School

Oberlin College

University of Maryland School of Law

First Name

Stephanie

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

RAW03

Favorite Season

N/A

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

3/17/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Favorite Food

Cheese

Short Description

Political leader Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (1970 - ) served as the forty-ninth Mayor of Baltimore from 2010 to 2016, and was the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council, where she also served as vice president and president.

Employment

Baltimore City Council

Maryland Legal Aid Bureau

Maryland Office of the Public Defender

City of Baltimore

Dentons

Democratic National Committee

United States Conference of Mayors

SRB and Associates

Favorite Color

Pink

Reggie Wells

Makeup artist Reggie Wells was born on December 2, 1947 in Baltimore, Maryland to John and Ada Wells. Wells graduated from City College High School in 1965, and went on to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he received his B.F.A. degree in 1971 and his M.A. degree in art education in 1975.

Wells began teaching art in the Baltimore Public School system in 1968. In 1976, he moved to New York City, where he worked at department store makeup counters for several years. Wells entered the entertainment industry as a makeup artist for a Jordache jeans advertising campaign. Over the course of his career, Wells worked with Essence magazine and O Magazine as well as Glamour Magazine, Time, Life, Harper’s Bazaar, and Mademoiselle. He also worked with a number of celebrities, including Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Halle Berry, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Leontyne Price, Joan Rivers, and former first lady Michelle Obama. He often created his own makeup to accommodate the darker skin tones of his clients. In 1990, Wells became Oprah Winfrey’s full-time personal makeup artist after working together during an Essence photo shoot. He traveled internationally with Winfrey to events in South Africa, Australia, and the Middle East, and hosted a segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show called “Make-Up 101.” Wells also collaborated with lighting technicians on The Oprah Winfrey Show to develop techniques for highlighting darker skin on camera. In 2000, Wells published Face Painting: African American Beauty Techniques from an Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist. In 2011, he became the international creative director for Hissyfit, an Australian cosmetics company. Wells volunteered in senior citizen communities in Baltimore, giving residents makeovers and organizing photo shoots. He also traveled to makeup shows across the country, teaching master classes and day of beauty Seminars.

Wells won a day time Emmy award for outstanding makeup for his work on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1995, and was nominated in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Wells was a board member and trustee for the Maryland Institute College of Art from 2010 to 2016.

Reggie Wells was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 30, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.052

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/20/2018

Last Name

Wells

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Baltimore City College

Maryland Institute College of Art

First Name

Reggie

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

WEL06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Island

Favorite Quote

Unbelievable.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

12/2/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Favorite Food

Coconut Cake

Short Description

Makeup artist Reggie Wells (1947 - ) worked as Oprah Winfrey’s personal makeup artist for over twenty years.

Employment

Baltimore City Public Schools

Favorite Color

Blue

April Ryan

Journalist and political analyst April Ryan was born on September 5, 1967 in Baltimore, Maryland to Robert C. Ryan, Sr. and Vivian Ryan. She majored in broadcast journalism at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated with her B.S. degree in 1989. There, she worked at the university’s radio station, WEAA-FM, as a disc jockey.

After graduating, Ryan worked as a freelance writer for a number of television stations across the eastern United States. She returned to the Baltimore area in 1991, after landing a job as radio news announcer at V-103 (now WQSR). Ryan was soon promoted to news director, and also began freelancing for the American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). In 1997, Ryan was hired as an AURN position in the White House press corps and has reported on four United States presidential administrations. Ryan conducted one-on-one interviews with President William Jefferson Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, First Lady Laura Bush, Vice President Al Gore, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and Secretary of State John Kerry. In 2011, Ryan was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondence Association. Ryan’s first book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, was published in 2015 and won the NAACP Image Award. Her second book, At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, was published the following year. In 2017, Ryan became a political analyst with CNN. In 2018, Ryan published her third book, Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.

Ryan was a member of the National Press Club and has appeared on MSNBC, NBC, and News One. In 2004, Ryan was named an American Swiss Foundation Young Leader. In 2011, Politico named Ryan as one of the top 50 people in Washington D.C. to watch. Ryan won the Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2017. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Claflin University.

Ryan has two children, Ryan and Grace.

April Ryan was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on October 31, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.197

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/31/2017

Last Name

Ryan

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

April

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

RYA01

Favorite Season

Spring and Fall

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Aspire to Inspire

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/1/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Low Country: Shrimp and Grits; Good Catfish

Short Description

Journalist and political analyst April Ryan (1967-) was a member of the White House press corps, a reporter for the American Urban Radio Networks, a CNN guest correspondent, and the author of several books on race and politics in America.

Favorite Color

Green or Red

Alexander Gabbin

Accounting professor Alexander Gabbin was born on September 6, 1945 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gabbin earned his B.A. degree in economics and mathematics from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1967. He went on to earn his M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois in 1970 and his Ph.D. degree in accounting from Temple University, Graduate School of Business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1986.Gabbin became a certified public accountant in the State of Illinois in 1971 and in the State of Pennsylvania in 1979.

Gabbin left a public accounting career with Touche Ross & Co in 1973 to work at the Chicago Urban League during its financial crisis as Deputy Executive Director- Administration. He began his teaching career in 1975 at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania as an associate professor in the department of economics and business administration. In 1985, Gabbin joined James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia as a Commonwealth Visiting Professor. In 1990, he was promoted to associate professor and in 1995 he achieved tenure and was promoted to full professor. From 1994 to 1998, he was director of the School of Accounting and program director of the School of Professional Studies.

In addition to his teaching career, Gabbin published a variety of articles in scholarly publications, including: Issues in Accounting Education, The CPA Journal, the Journal of Accounting Education, the Journal of Accountancy, Business Communications Quarterly, The Accounting Educator’s Journal and Assessment Update. Gabbin co-founded the National Black MBA Association in 1970 and is an August 10, 1994 charter member of KPMG’s PhD Project and Accounting Doctoral Students Association.
.
Gabbin received the Builders Award from Third World Press in 1978, the Accounting Educators Award of the National Association of Minority CPA Firms in 1979, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, in 1982, and the James Madison University College of Business Distinguished Teacher Award for 2005-2006. Gabbin is the only four-time recipient of the James Madison University Outstanding Teacher in Accounting Award in 1986, 1988, 1990, and 1992. In 1991, he was selected as an Adolph Coors Foundation professor of accounting, and he has been selected as a KPMG professor of accounting since 1994. Since 1998, Gabbin has chaired the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award selection committee of the National Alliance of African American Athletes.

In 2000, Gabbin received the National Black MBA Association Lifetime Membership Award. In 2016, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award of the Lincoln University Alumni Association, and a February 16, 2016 Senate of Pennsylvania Citation for exemplary dedication to higher education.

Alexander Gabbin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.111

Sex

Male

Interview Date

06/15/2017

Last Name

Gabbin

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Organizations
First Name

Alexander

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

GAB02

Favorite Season

April

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Canada

Favorite Quote

Bad boy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

9/6/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Harrisonburg

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork chops

Short Description

Accounting professor Alexander Gabbin (1945- ) was an accounting professor at James Madison University for thirty-two years.

Favorite Color

Blue

Joanne V. Gabbin

English professor Joanne V. Gabbin was born on February 2, 1946. She earned her B.A. degree in English from Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland in 1967. Gabbin then received her M.A. degree in English in 1970 and her Ph.D. degree in English and literature from the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois in 1980.

Gabbin began her career as an instructor of English at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois in 1971. She was then hired as an assistant professor of English at Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois in 1972, where she remained until 1974. Gabbin served as program director and instructor of Catalyst for Youth, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois from 1973 to 1975. In 1977, Gabbin became an assistant professor of English at Lincoln University. She was promoted to the position of associate professor of English in 1982. Gabbin remained in that position until 1985, when she was hired as an associate professor of English at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In 1987, she helped form the Wintergreen Women Writers’ Collective. Gabbin also became the director of the honors program at James Madison University in 1986 and was promoted to the position of professor of English in 1989. Gabbin organized the first academic conference on African American poetry, entitled “Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry,” in 1994. She established the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University in 2005.

In addition to her work as an English professor, Gabbin also published a variety of works that included Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic Tradition, The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry, and Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present. She also published a children’s book, titled I Bet She Called Me Sugar Plum, in 2004.

Gabbin was awarded the Creative Scholarship Award by the College Language Association in 1986 and, in 1988, received the Award for Scholarship from the James Madison University Faculty Women’s Caucus and Women’s Resource Network. She was the recipient of the Virginia State Council of Higher Education’s Outstanding Faculty Award in 1993, as well as James Madison University’s Provost Award for Excellence in 2004. Gabbin was given the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2005, and the Woman of Distinction Award in 2007, each from James Madison University.

In addition to her career as a professor, Gabbin served as a board member of several organizations that included the WVPT Community Board, Shenandoah Shakespeare, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and Cave Canem (A Home for Black Poetry). An avid art collector, she is also the owner of the 150 Franklin Street Gallery in Harrisonburg.

Joanne V. Gabbin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 15, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.110

Sex

Female

Interview Date

06/14/2017

Last Name

Gabbin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

V.

Occupation
Schools

Eastern High School

Morgan State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Joanne

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

GAB01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa - Senegal

Favorite Quote

I am because you are, you are because I am.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/2/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Harrisonburg

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thai

Short Description

English professor Joanne V. Gabbin (1946 - ) was an English professor at James Madison University and founded the Furious Flower Poetry Center.

Employment

James Madison University

Lincoln University

Chicago State University

DHEW, Social Security

Favorite Color

Purple

The Honorable Andre M. Davis

Judge Andre M. Davis was born on February 11, 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his B.A. degree in American history from the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to receive his J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 1978.

In 1978, Davis worked as a law clerk to Judge Frank A. Kaufman, who served in the U.S. District Court in the District of Maryland. In 1979, Davis clerked for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., before working as an appellate attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in 1980. From 1981 to 1983, Davis served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland. He then entered private practice for one year, before joining the faculty of his alma mater, the University of Maryland School of Law. In 1987, Davis was appointed to his first judgeship, serving the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City. He was then appointed as an associate judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in 1990, before being elected to a full term on the state circuit court in 1992. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed Davis to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland; and in October of 2000, President Clinton nominated Davis to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. However, the U.S. Senate refused to schedule his confirmation hearings, leaving the seat empty until Davis was nominated again, by President Barack Obama, in April 2009. He was confirmed by the Senate with a 72-16 vote in November of that year, receiving his commission the following day. Davis sat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals bench for several landmark cases in U.S. law. In 2011, he served on the panel that heard Liberty University et al v. Geithner, which challenged the Affordable Care Act of 2010. In 2014, Davis assumed senior status as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Davis was the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award, the Myerowitz Moot Court Award and the Benjamin L. Cardin Public Service Award, among numerous other honors.

Judge Andre M. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 8, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.101

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/8/2016

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Maurice

Schools

University of Pennsylvania

University of Maryland School of Law

First Name

Andre

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

DAV39

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod

Favorite Quote

Don't Believe Everything You Think.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/11/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Judge Andre M. Davis (1949 - ) was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. In 2009, he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by President Barack Obama.

Employment

United States, Court of Appeals 4th Circuit

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

United States Court of Appeals for The Fourth Circuit

United States District Court of Maryland

Maryland Circuit Court

State of Maryland District Court

Private Practice

United States Attorney's Office for The District of Maryland

United States District Court

Favorite Color

Blue

Paulette Brown

Lawyer Paulette Brown was born on April 28, 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland to Wilbur Brown, a truck driver, and Thelma Brown, a homemaker. She attended Baltimore’s P.S. 145 and Calverton Junior High School, graduating from Northwestern High School in 1969. Brown studied sociology at Howard University before changing her major to political science. In 1973, she received her B.S. degree in political science from Howard University, and went on to receive her J.D. degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1976.

Brown spent nine years working as in-house counsel at several Fortune 500 companies, including National Steel Corporation, Prudential Insurance Company of America, Inc., and Buck Consultants Inc. Brown was the founding partner of Brown & Childress, and worked as a solo practitioner for sixteen years. In 1983, she was elected president of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey. In 1993, Brown & Childress merged with another firm to become Brown, Lofton, Childress & Wolfe, New Jersey’s largest minority firm at the time. That same year, she was elected president of the National Bar Association, and later served as a municipal court judge in Plainfield, New Jersey. As president of the NBA, Brown led a delegation to monitor the first free and democratic elections in South Africa in 1994, and became a member of the American Bar Association in 1997. Brown joined Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP as a partner in January 2000, and then she moved to the New Jersey office of Edwards & Angell LLP in 2005. In 2007, she was elected as a member of the American Bar Association’s board of governors. She co-chaired the Commission on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools in 2010, and in 2015, became the first woman of color to be elected as president of the American Bar Association.

Brown received numerous awards, including the National Bar Association’s highest award, the C. Francis Stradford Award. She also received the Gertrude Rush and Cora T. Walker Legacy Awards from the National Bar Association, the Medal of Honor Award from the New Jersey Bar Foundation, the Spirit of Excellence and Margaret Brent Awards from the American Bar Association, the Award of Excellence from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Robert L. Carter Legacy Award from the New Jersey chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. She also received the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism. Brown was repeatedly selected by U.S. News as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of commercial litigation. She was named to the Ebony Power 100 List in 2014, and was selected as one of the 50 “Most Influential Minority Lawyers in the U.S.” by the National Law Journal and one of the country’s “Most Influential Black Lawyers” by Savoy Magazine.

Brown has one son, Dijaun Brown.

Paulette Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 28, 2015.

Accession Number

A2015.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/29/2015

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

Alexander Hamilton Elementary School

Calverton Elementary/Middle School

Northwestern High School

Howard University

Seton Hall University School of Law

First Name

Paulette

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

BRO61

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

To whom much is given much is required

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

4/28/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Morristown

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood or roasted root vegetables

Short Description

Lawyer Paulette Brown (1951 - ) was a partner at Locke Lord LLP, and the first woman of color elected President of the American Bar Association.

Employment

Edward Wildman Palmer

Locke Lord LLP

Municipal Court of Plainfield

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paulette Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown talks about her mother's early years in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown lists her siblings and grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown recalls her early childhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown remembers attending her junior prom

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown describes the sights of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Paulette Brown describes the smells and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Paulette Brown talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown recalls the teachers who influenced her in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown reflects upon her experience at Calverton Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown remembers attending Wayland Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown describes Northwestern High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown talks about the civil rights activities during her teenage years

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls her introduction to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown talks about her college friends

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown describes her summer employment

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown remembers applying to law school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown recalls her student government participation at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown talks about the changes to Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown remembers Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown remembers Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown talks about the Black American Law Students Association

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls her internship in the Newark Mayor's Policy and Development Office

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown recalls becoming the employee benefits lawyer at the National Steel Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown describes her career at the National Steel Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown talks about her work at Buck Consultants

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown remembers her early networking opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown recalls the start of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown describes the challenges faced by African American women attorneys

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown describes her presidency of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls becoming a National Bar Association deputy regional director

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown recalls her election as vice president of the National Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown describes the history of the National Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown talks about the National Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown talks about her presidency of the National Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown remembers the first democratic elections in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown talks about her house in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown talks about her work with African bar associations

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown describes the challenges faced by the National Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown talks about the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown describes her early work in the American Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown talks about the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown talks about the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown describes trajectory of her private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown recalls the clients she acquired in her private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown talks about minority-led law firms, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown talks about minority-led law firms, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown recalls her decision to leave the firm of Duane Morris LLP

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown remembers joining the law firm of Edwards and Angell

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown talks about her experiences at the firm of Edwards and Angell

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown recalls her election as president of the American Bar Association

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown talks about the support of Dennis Archer

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown talks about her goals for the American Bar Association, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown talks about her goals for the American Bar Association, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown shares her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown shares her advice for aspiring African American law professionals

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown reflects upon the future of the law profession

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown recalls adopting her son

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown talks about her son's education

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls the support of her family during her son's adoption

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown reflects upon her experiences of parenting

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown talks about her son's career

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown describes the challenges faced by the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown reflects upon her legacy and the legacy of the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Paulette Brown reflects upon the challenges faced by African American women

Robert Tutman

Cameraman and producer Robert Tutman was born on October 15, 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Tutman initially worked as a still photographer until 1968, when he was hired as a cameraman for NBC’s WBAL-TV in Baltimore. In 1970, Tutman moved to CBS Network News in Chicago, Illinois, becoming the company’s first African American cameraman. For the next twenty-five years, Tutman covered national and international news stories for CBS. He also taught as an associate professor at Columbia University in 1973 through the Michelle Clark Minority Fellowship.

From 1995 to 1999, Tutman served as a senior cameraman for Chicago’s WBBM-TV, where he worked on breaking news stories, from hard news to feature pieces, documentaries, special projects and long format programs. In 1996, Tutman established his own production company, and, from 1999 to 2001 he produced fifty half-hour programs and twelve three-hour specials for the Chicago Public Schools. He went on to serve as a producer for Monument City Films in Baltimore from 2001 to 2002; and, in 2003, became a producer for WYCC-TV, a PBS station based in Chicago. Tutman later worked as director of photography for The Africa Channel and as a producer at Chicago Film Works. His film credits include The Providence Effect and Common Enemy.

Tutman’s honors include Emmy Award nominations as well as the Gold Camera Award, which he received during the 1996 Chicago Industrial Film Festival for his work on Common Enemy. He has also served as president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Robert Tutman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 22, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.261

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/22/2014

Last Name

Tutman

Maker Category
Schools

Coleridge Taylor Elementary School

P.S. 111, Frances Ellen Harper Elementary School

Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts

Baltimore City College

Coppin State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

TUT01

Favorite Season

Any Time I'm Alive

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Stuck On Stupid.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/15/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Photojournalist and producer Robert Tutman (1946 - ) was the first African American cameraman hired by CBS News, where he served from 1970 to 1999.

Employment

WBAL-TV

CBS Network News

WBBM-TV

Monument City Films

Robert Tutman Productions

WYCC-TV

The Africa Channel

Chicago Film Works

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Tutman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about his mother's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman talks about his brother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman describes his earliest memory of school

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman remembers his neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Tutman describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Tutman remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman talks about the development of social policies

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman recalls his early frustrations with school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman remembers learning about Frances Watkins Harper

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman describes his experiences as a Boy Scout

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman describes how he became interested in photography

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers his first professional photography lessons

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman remembers his high school photography club

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman talks about Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman recalls his introduction to the photography community

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman remembers working at a Chinese restaurant

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Robert Tutman recalls his decision to attend Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Robert Tutman talks about his decision to complete two extra years of high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman remembers his family's reaction to his delayed high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman recalls his decision to leave college and work in a steel mill

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about the African American community in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman recalls his start as a professional cameraman

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman recalls the opportunities for black reporters during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers covering the assassination of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman remembers his hiring as a cameraman for CBS News

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman remembers covering the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman describes Emperor Hirohito's visit to the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman remembers meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman recalls his conversation with Rosa Parks

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about his colleagues at CBS News

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman talks about his friendship with Ed Bradley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman talks about the private personalities of television reporters

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers the election of Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman recalls covering Walter Mondale's vice presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman describes his interviews with Walter Mondale

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman remembers Walter Mondale's intervention on behalf of his grandmother

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his friendship with Walter Mondale

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman describes his involvement with the National Association of Black Journalists, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman describes his involvement with the National Association of Black Journalists, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about DeWayne Wickham

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman remembers leaving the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman talks about the physical demands of newsreel videography

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman reflects upon the changes in management at CBS News

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman remembers being captured while reporting overseas

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman talks about the dangers of working as a news cameraman

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman talks about challenging the prejudice of white reporters

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his passion for newsreel videography

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman describes his travel schedule as a cameraman

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman talks about balancing his career and personal life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman talks about minimizing his exposure to danger

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman describes the risks of covering events like September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman talks about his involvement in education

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman describes his work on feature and documentary films

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers his awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman describes his work with The Africa Channel

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman remembers joining Chicago Film Works

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman reflects upon the changes in video technology

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman talks about his camera preferences

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Robert Tutman describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his relationship with DeWayne Wickham

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman shares his concerns for the future of black journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman reflects upon the importance of practice

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Robert Tutman describes how he became interested in photography
Robert Tutman remembers being captured while reporting overseas
Transcript
Now did you have any particular talents you were cultivating in those days? Were you--were you artistic then?$$Yeah--a photographer, that's the only thing I wanted to do.$$Okay, I mean in, in middle school [Booker T. Washington Junior High School; Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts, Baltimore, Maryland]? I mean, I mean when did photography? I know, I know you did, did you have a camera (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I got hooked on photography, I got hooked on photography in 1954, when I was eight years old.$$Okay.$$And the reason that I got hooked on photography is my cousin Reggie [ph.] was a con man and he's also my best friend at the time but he was older than me and he knew all of these tricks that we did not know. I learned how to count because my cousin Reggie hustled me out of a dime, he came up to me and he showed me a nickel and I had a dime and he said, "Look, I'll trade you the big one for the little one," and so I traded him a dime for a nickel and I came back in the house and I showed my grandfather [Tutman's maternal grandfather, Claude Allen] my nickel, he said, said, "Buck where did you get that from?" I said, "I got this from Reggie." He said, "Well how how'd you get this from Reggie?" I said, "We traded it." He said, "Minnie [Tutman's maternal grandmother, Minnie Magee Allen], the boy can't count," and the next thing I knew I was sitting down learning how to count money.$$So, in terms of the can- photography (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Photography?$$Yeah, how did Reggie--?$$Do you know what sun pictures are by any chance?$$Some pictures?$$Sun, S-U-N.$$Sun, oh--$$Sun pictures.$$--with a pinhole camera?$$No. Sun--well that is another way of sun pictures, but what they used to sale was a little pack of paper than had photosensitive paper in it and negatives. And they would cut black and white negatives out of 35mm movie film, old movie film that they didn't use and stick this in a little package and they'd sell this for a dime. And you'd take this little pack of paper and you take this negative and put it on this pack of paper and sit it out in the sun and you'd make a picture, sun picture. Well, my cousin Reggie knew about this because he was older and so, he said to us, "You give me a dime," back to the dime again, "and I'll show you a magic trick." I said, "Okay," so we go down in the basement he's got this thing setup in the basement and he's got these three trays of magic water setup in the basement and he's got a light and he's got some magic paper and he said, "Now come here, give me your money," everybody give him, everybody gives their money out to Reggie, he said, "Now give me your hand," so he'd put your hand on this piece of magic paper and he'd turn the light on and turn the light off real quick and then he said some magic words over the pap- (makes sound), I don't know what he said, magic. And now you're looking at this paper in the dark, he says, "Now," he says this magic over the water and takes the paper and he sticks it in the water and, and the hand comes up, and I'm, man that was it, done, I was hooked, that's it, I had it, that's what I want to do, magic. So I go back and I try it and it don't work, I take a piece of paper and it just, it, man I said the same words, I did--don't work, he said, "I'm not gone show you my trick." And what had happened is, my uncle Milton [Milton Allen], which was my mother's [Theresa Allen Tutman] brother was a professional photographer and Reggie had found a box of his photo paper back in the basement and Reggie had gone to the store, he got thirty-five cents somewhere and what was called a tri-chem pack, which were three chemicals for thirty-five cents which were photo chemicals 'cause that's how you used to buy chemicals back in the '50s [1950s], you just buy a pack of chemicals, go and mix them up, print a picture--most people that were in photography did their own work. You had your own dar- darkroom, you printed your own pictures, you developed your own negatives, and so that's what he did. And, it was magic and I just, I wanted to take pictures after that so I had a little Brownie Hawkeye and I ran around shooting pictures every chance I could get. That's all I wanted to do was take pictures. I spent hours in the darkroom, hou- I mean every day I was in the darkroom. That's just what I did: I didn't care about school, I didn't care about anything; I just wanted to be in the darkroom taking pictues (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So this is from age eight?$$Oh yeah.$$Okay.$$Magic.$They do it, they did--we had a guy get captured overseas in Iraq, Iran, somewhere, I don't know where it was, might have been in South America, I just forgot where it was and they were being held prisoner and CBS network television hired a team of mercenaries to go in and get this guy out and they went in shooting and got this guy out who was a reporter that was being held prisoner. And when I heard about it, I had just come on board with the company and I got indignant, "How dare you go into a foreign country and, and (unclear) you shouldn't do any, that you don't have any right to do any--wha- what? Are you people--who do you think?" And a guy turns to me, "Hey, if you got captured, we'd come and get your black ass too, so what do you have to say about that?" "Hey man thanks, appreciate it." So, we never had any fear of getting in trouble, we never had any fear of anything happening because we knew that the company would bail us out.$$Now did, did you cover a story at any time, you know, whether it be in the Middle East or Asia, or Central or South--South America, or Africa where you thought you were going to get kidnapped?$$Oh got kidnapped, got captured.$$Okay.$$Yeah, oh sure, that's happened before. I got captured in Cairo [Egypt] when Ansar--Anwar Sadat got killed and when Anwar Sadat got killed he--we went to cover his funeral, so I'm out, I'm taking pictures and I walk out and I'm taking pictures and this guy said, "We told you not to take--." They grabbed us, took the camera, took all our gear, they're holding us--man, I'm like, (makes sound), and now, you know, now they holding us, shit, nobody knows where we are, we don't have any credentials, we don't have any passports, they're holding us, like, shit. So, guy comes in, "Okay, I told you not to take pictures so you're going to be here." "Wait a minute, you didn't tell me anything." "Yes, I did." I said, "Have you ever met a black American before?" He's like, "Well no." I said, "Then if you've never met a black American before, I'm a black American, how could you have told me anything?" The guy was like, "Where are you from?" I'm like, "I'm from Chicago [Illinois]." "Chicago?" He said, "This is--Al Capone," he says, "Al Capone is a friend of mine." I said, "Well he's a friend of mine too." He said, "Man this is friends here, my friend here," and all of a sudden, he and I and Al Capone became friends and he let us go. I said, "Well can I get my camera?" "Yeah, take your camera man that's, we're friends," so because we fr- all friends with Al Capone, I got to go. Now I'm in Nicaragua and we get captured in Nicaragua, so we get captured in Nicaragua, they're holding us and then they're getting ready to let us go, right?$$Now you're being held by the Contras or the Sandinistas [Sandinista National Liberation Front] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Sandinista got us.$$Okay.$$So the Sandis got us and now they going to let us go, they ain't keep us but for two, three days that's all, not a long time. So the guy says, "Okay, strip, take your clothes off." I said, "Take your clothes off? Man, I'm not taking my clothes off." Said, "You got, man it's like--we need everything, we need shoes, we need clothes, we need socks, we need everything you've got and you're going back to your hotel but we gotta have your--." It's about eight of us they had, and, "Strip naked and get outta here." I'm like, "Man, you cannot, you cannot take my clothes, now what--," I said, "let me explain something to you man, six white guys, black guy, if we walk out the jungle naked, the only person's picture that's going to be on the front of Newsweek magazine is me, they're not going to put the naked white guys, they going to put the naked black guy with the camera." The guy looked at me, he looked at them, and he looked at me and we come walking out the jungle, I got all my shit, and walking with six naked white boys (laughter).$$What a story, that's--so now, wa- those the only two times that you got--?$$Those are the only two times that I got captured by people that I didn't think were going to let me go.$$$$Okay, okay but it's, it's, it's then it's a usual thing to be detained or, or (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh man, you get detained--I've been detained by all the ti- I was in Wounded Knee [South Dakota] when they took over the post office at Wounded Knee, the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] grabs us sneaking out and they hold us and questioning you and stuff, "Man go away," you know, "free press," you know, they keep you for two hours, cops will hold you, happens all the time, you don't ev- you know, like they're gonna let you go, I mean like, you're not doing anything, you're not trying to hurt anybody, you know, free speech means a lot to members of the press sometimes. Well used to twenty years ago, I don't know what it's doing now.

Byron Pitts

Broadcast journalist Byron A. Pitts was born on October 21, 1960 in Baltimore, Maryland to William and Clarice Pitts. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood and was raised by a single mother. Pitts graduated from Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore in 1978 and went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University, where he received his B.A. degree in journalism and speech communication in 1982.

Pitts first interned at WTVD in Durham, North Carolina. From 1983 to 1984, he reported and served as the weekend sports anchor at WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina. He worked as a military reporter for WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia from 1984 to 1986, and as a reporter for WESH-TV in Orlando, Florida from 1986 to 1988. Pitts then moved to Tampa in 1988, where he became a reporter and substitute anchor for WFLA-TV until 1989. He then joined WCVB-TV in Boston, Massachusetts as a special assignment reporter. His final local job was as a general assignment reporter for WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia from 1994 to 1996. In 1997, Pitts moved to Washington, D.C., where he was hired as a correspondent for CBS Newspath, the 24-hour affiliate news service of CBS News. He was made a CBS News correspondent in May 1998, and was based in the Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia bureaus before moving to New York City in January of 2001. Pitts later became a chief national correspondent for CBS Evening News and a contributor to the newsmagazine 60 Minutes. As a CBS News reporter, Pitts covered the September 11th attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan, the military buildup in Kuwait, the Florida fires, the Elian Gonzalez story, the Florida Presidential recount, the mudslides in Central America, and the refugee crisis in Kosovo. In 2013, Pitts left CBS News and was named chief national correspondent and anchor for ABC News, where he covers national news stories and in-depth features for the network, reporting for all broadcasts and platforms including Good Morning America, World News with Diane Sawyer, Nightline, This Week and 20/20.

Pitts received national Emmy Awards for his coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the Chicago train wreck of 1999. His other honors include the 2001 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, as well as four Associated Press Awards and six regional Emmy Awards. His book, Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges, was published in 2009.

Pitts lives in New York, New York.

Byron Pitts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 6, 2014 and July 14, 2016.

Accession Number

A2014.210

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/06/2014 |and| 07/14/2016

Last Name

Pitts

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Aubrey

Organizations
Schools

James Mchenry Elementary

St Katharine School

Archbishop Curley High School

Ohio Wesleyan University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Byron

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

PIT33

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Work hard, pray hard and treat people right good things will happen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/21/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate Cake

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Byron Pitts (1960 - ) was a chief national correspondent and anchor for ABC News, and earned multiple national Emmy Awards for his work as a CBS News correspondent. He was the author of Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges.

Employment

ABC News

CBS News

Favorite Color

Black

Jonelle Procope

Lawyer and foundation president Jonelle Procope was born on March 20, 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother, Corinne, was a teacher; her father, John L. Procope, Sr., was a businessman and hospital administrator. Procope was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She received her B.A. degree in economics from Howard University, and her J.D. degree from St. Johns University.

In 1977, Procope was hired as an associate attorney at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York City. She then joined Viacom International Inc. in 1980, where she specialized in entertainment law for the company’s divisions including Viacom International, MTV, Showtime Entertainment, and Viacom Productions. From 1988 to 1994, Procope worked as director of business affairs for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, where she served as primary legal counsel to the Advertising and Media departments for the company’s Consumer Products Group. From 1998 to 2003, she was vice president of business and legal affairs for Blackground Records, an independent record label in New York City. Procope was then named president and chief executive officer of the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. in March of 2003.

Procope has also been active in numerous civic and community organizations. She sits on the boards of New York Public Radio, the Arthur Ashe Learning Center, the 125th Street B.I.D., and the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. She is a member of the Friends of Education Committee of the Museum of Modern Art and the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee.

Procope has been profiled in The New York Times Public Lives column, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to New York City, named as one of Portfolio magazine's 73 Biggest Brains in Business, profiled in Ebony magazine, and honored by The New York Daily News as one of 100 Women Who Shape Our City. In 2014, she received the Matrix Award – “Women Who Change the World” from New York Women in Communications.

Procope is married to Frederick O. Terrell and resides in New York City. They are parents of two adult sons, Matthew and Evan.

Jonelle Procope was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 8, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.105

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/8/2014 |and| 08/25/2014

Last Name

Procope

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Alice

Schools

Lansdowne Friends

Friends' Central School

Philadelphia High School for Girls

St. John's University

Howard University

First Name

Jonelle

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

PRO03

State

Maryland

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/20/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Lawyer and foundation president Jonelle Procope (1951 - ) was the president and chief executive officer of the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.

Employment

Apollo Theater

Blackground Records

All Access Entertainment

Bristol Myers Squibb

Equitable Real Estate Group

Viacom International

Skadden, Arps, Meager & Flom