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Brent Staples

Journalist and author Brent Staples was born on September 13, 1951, in Chester, Pennsylvania. His father, Melvin Staples, was a truck driver; his mother, Geneva, a homemaker. The oldest son of nine children, Staples grew up in Chester, but, due to his family’s financial problems, moved seven times before finishing junior high school. After being approached by the only African American professor at Widener University, then the Pennsylvania Military College, Staples was accepted into Widener through a program called Project Prepare. He graduated from there in 1973 with his B.A. degree in behavioral science. Staples was awarded two doctoral fellowships; one from the Danforth Foundation and another from the Ford Foundation. He went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of Chicago in 1982.

From 1977 until 1981, Staples taught psychology at various colleges in Pennsylvania and Chicago. Then, in 1983, he was hired at the Chicago Sun-Times as a science writer. In 1985, Staples moved to The New York Times, where he was hired as an editor of The New York Times Book Review. Staples also frequently contributed to the Times Magazine and the Book Review. In 1986, he published the essay, “Just Walk on By” in Ms. magazine, a piece that would eventually be required reading for college courses throughout the country. Staples became an assistant editor for metropolitan news at The New York Times in 1987, and was appointed a member of The New York Times Editorial Board in 1990.

In 1994, Staples’ autobiography Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White, was published. Parallel Time was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1995, and was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Mount St. Mary College. In 2006, Staples was awarded a Fletcher Foundation Fellowship for his book-in-progress, Neither White Nor Black: The Secret History of Mixed-Race America. He has also served as a visiting fellow for multiple organizations including the Hoover Institution, the University of Chicago and Yale University.

Brent Staples was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.274

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/19/2013

Last Name

Staples

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Widener University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Brent

Birth City, State, Country

Chester

HM ID

STA09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/13/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

No Favorite Food

Short Description

Author and editorial writer Brent Staples (1951 - ) , author of Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White, has served on the New York Times editorial board for over twenty years.

Employment

Chicago Sun-Times

New York Times

Favorite Color

Purple

Shirley Anne Massey

Civic leader Shirley Anne Massey was born on August 14, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the younger of two children born to parents, Anne Johnson, a laundress, and William Streeter, a janitor. Massey attended St. Anslem Grammar School and Holy Cross Grammar School before graduating from Chicago Loretto Academy, which was an all-girls Roman Catholic high school, in 1960. She then enrolled in Chicago Teachers College where see studied education.

In 1962, Massey was hired to work as an accountant at the Playboy club. Then, from 1964 to 1969, she served as a reservationist for Trans World Airlines (TWA). Since then, Massey has committed much of her life to causes for youth and culture. From 1995, Shirley Massey served as First Lady of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Committed to the college, Massey worked alongside her husband, Walter Massey, who served as the ninth president of Morehouse from 1995 to 2007 and also as the president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2010.

President of the Morehouse Auxiliary, Massey spearheaded the Morehouse College Beautification Committee. She also served on the board of Salzburg Seminar, ARCS Foundation, and the University of Chicago Women’s Board. Her previous affiliations include serving as a board member of the Atlanta Ballet, founding member of the Chicago Foundation for Education, board member of the Great Books Foundation, member of the Women’s Board of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, member of the Women’s board of the Chicago Symphony and founding member of the Museum of Science and Industry President’s Council.

In 2012, the Executive Conference Center building on the campus of Morehouse was renamed as the Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center in her honor.

Massey and her husband have two sons, Keith and Eric, and three grandchildren. They remain active in cultural and civic organizations in Chicago and beyond.

Shirley Anne Massey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.239

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/24/2013

Last Name

Massey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Anne

Occupation
Schools

Holy Cross Elementary School

St. Anselm's School

Loretto Academy Catholic High School

Chicago State University

First Name

Shirley

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MAS09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Go With The Flow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/14/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Civic leader Shirley Anne Massey (1942 - ) served as the First Lady of Morehouse College from 1995 to 2007.

Employment

Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Trans World Airlines

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Timing Pairs
0,0:1314,11:6350,53:6630,58:8100,91:11530,166:12440,183:12860,190:24126,321:24567,369:26598,379:26902,384:27206,389:27510,394:30246,467:32830,523:33134,528:36174,598:43381,690:52366,756:52950,766:53899,818:55943,852:56381,861:56673,866:67642,989:68263,1000:69367,1023:69919,1032:82839,1254:86124,1323:86416,1328:88314,1364:88971,1377:98460,1526:98755,1532:99345,1545:99640,1551:108926,1696:119248,1838:120616,1878:120904,1884:121768,1902:123496,1929:124288,1942:125944,1987:126232,1992:132194,2041:133096,2068:135638,2099:139902,2166:140312,2172:140804,2180:146570,2243:150795,2364:151770,2383:152160,2390:158010,2530:165994,2590:172275,2702:174711,2755:176712,2790:182382,2848:184350,2880$0,0:293,4:577,9:1003,16:1784,33:2281,41:2778,49:5831,175:6328,191:9034,213:14382,281:14890,286:16160,312:20220,335:21626,359:23772,400:24290,408:24586,413:25252,428:26954,451:27916,468:28360,475:28656,480:29174,488:29692,497:32282,551:32578,556:33096,564:34354,603:34946,612:38786,627:39074,632:39362,637:39650,642:40442,655:41594,677:42026,684:45770,757:47138,794:47426,799:50931,814:53760,844:55590,865:56831,888:57123,893:61574,927:62066,935:62476,942:65182,989:66576,1006:67970,1035:72160,1043:72950,1073:76031,1139:77295,1171:78796,1189:79586,1201:80060,1209:80376,1214:80850,1222:81166,1227:82667,1256:88004,1284:88468,1294:92846,1364:93166,1371:94638,1403:95022,1411:97326,1463:104410,1526:104750,1532:105022,1537:105634,1558:105906,1563:106994,1584:107606,1594:108082,1603:108490,1611:109034,1620:112160,1647:112736,1659:117450,1747:118220,1761:118990,1784:121160,1833:121580,1841:122770,1861:123120,1867:123680,1878:124100,1886:124380,1891:124800,1899:126060,1921:127950,1949:128300,1955:137771,2091:140708,2144:146750,2229:151560,2346:155334,2411:155778,2418:161803,2467:169166,2611:169598,2618:172262,2690:180630,2835
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shirley Anne Massey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her upbringing in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Shirley Anne Massey describes the smells and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her elementary education

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her favorite meals

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers the Holy Cross School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers family vacations and holidays

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her experiences at Loretto Academy in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her family's household responsibilities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls marrying her first husband

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her accounting position at Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers working at Trans World Airlines

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls marrying Walter E. Massey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers moving to Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her husband's adoption of her oldest son

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers helping her husband secure a raise

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's appointment as the college dean at Brown University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her duties as a college dean's wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey recall moving into the Powhatan Apartments in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her introduction to Chicago's elite society, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her introduction to Chicago's elite society, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's directorship of the National Science Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her transition to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's sabbatical in Paris, France

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey talks about her leisure activities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her younger son's education

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers moving to Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls moving to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her role at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers fundraising for Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her mission at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers advocating for the young black men of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's retirement from Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's appointment as chairman of the Bank of America Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls serving as the first lady of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey reflects upon the changes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her concerns for Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Shirley Anne Massey shares her advice for young women

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Shirley Anne Massey reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Shirley Anne Massey describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Shirley Anne Massey shares her advice for a successful marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers caring for her elderly parents

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Shirley Anne Massey remembers meeting her husband
Shirley Anne Massey recalls moving to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
Transcript
And then I started really dating, but when you dated back then you, they didn't have these sites, and so you did blind dates and there was a girl that lived down the hall and she was always getting a new, new, new boyfriend, and every time she got a new boyfriend, I got a new blind date. And one, the day Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was killed, I came home from work and picked up Keith [Keith Massey]. He was at a babysitter at that time on 64th [Street] and Woodlawn [Avenue] so I had to come down 63rd Street with all the guns and all this, you know, the [U.S.] Army. And I stopped, and everyone in the building was just, you know, really sad and I went into, stopped by her apartment and she had a new boyfriend and it turns out that Walter [HistoryMaker Walter E. Massey] and his wife had just separated and so he says, "I have someone I want you to meet." So I said, "Fine." So we never did quite meet. He cancelled the date before I even knew him because he called and said he had computer time. He was a post-doc [post doctoral researcher] at Argonne [Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Illinois] and he said he had computer time so he had to cancel the date.$$So you're wondering what kind of guy is this.$$Right. So then we, we talked--uh-oh he says it's thirty minutes. We talk again and he says, okay well he can come by on a Wednesday, and I said, "Well that's fine but I don't go out during the week because I have my son," and that particular day my girlfriend was taking night classes so I would keep her son and--do we have to stop?$$(Inaudible response).$$And then I said, "Fine." He said, "Fine I'll come," and that was a good barometer because if I told some men that I couldn't go out during the week, then, or if we went out on the weekend some days we could go to the museum with my son. If they didn't want to do that, then there was no reason to pursue it. So I remember him coming and I looked out the window and I saw this person get out of this white Ford convertible in white cut off jeans, short jeans, black leather shoes, no socks, a black shirt trimmed in purple, which I still have, and he comes into my apartment and I'm cooking. I'm making spaghetti and hot dogs, except that I don't really cook, but the hot dogs had been boiling and I was going to pour some tomato sauce. Now I had lots of spices and things because, as I said, my father [William Streeter] cooked and he lived downstairs and he gave me, so Walter in the meantime looks at what I'm cooking and he goes and opens my cabinet and starts putting spices and things in and two little boys are just looking and then he goes down the street and gets a bottle of wine. You know that Chianti with the straw, and the kids are just like, "Wow," and I'm thinking, I'm marrying this man. (Laughter) I'll give him time, but I'm marrying this man.$And then people started, someone started calling from Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia]. We'd only been there a year, here [California]. And I said, "Don't call here, we're not going anywhere, don't call here." And they kept calling, and they kept calling, and so I went down to Atlanta [Georgia] just to check it out. When he was finally was thinking he was going to do this and I'm talking with people and I'm talking, now I have to interact, I work always very closely with his secretaries and assistants. They're in charge but we work closely together. I don't do anything without checking with them, and he's been very fortunate to have even people like twenty years old to take over his life, and they're very good. And he had this young woman, Yung Lee [ph.], who was very good. So I go Atlanta and I meet the people that are going to be working for him, and I came back and I said, "First of all we have to have a house on campus. We can't live out away. The students live on campus, we should be there." Because they hadn't--there had been a house and then they tore it down. So the president lived way off campus. And then there was the issue of how it's figured you have to live just so many miles for it not to be a tax issue if you living and the school is paying for you. I said, "And furthermore you can't go unless Yung Lee comes, because you are not going to be able to work with this person that's there. It's not gonna work." So we had to convince her and her new husband to come, which they agreed. And we were very fortunate, we got an apartment near the school, downtown Atlanta, but it was at the time of the Olympics [1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia] and we got the land for the house and they sold the president's house, the house the president was living in that wasn't on campus, that was able to be built there, and then we were able to find alums to give us money for endowment and two other friends to give us money for the furniture.$$So wait a minute, so you built a new president's home. I did not know that.$$I was on the committee.$$I see. I didn't know that.$$They weren't expecting me on the committee.$$So Atlanta was a different community.$$Atlanta was a different community. It's the South (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So how did--it's the South and you hadn't spent time in the South.$$Never spent time. But what was so amazing is people just talk and are friendly, white and black, and they all, I said to Walter [HistoryMaker Walter E. Massey], "White people eat grits!" He said, "Of course they do."$$Well, this is, Walter was coming back home and many way--$$He said, "Of course they do." I said, "White people I knew didn't eat grits." He says, "Who do you think cooked for them? They all ate- ate the same food." I mean I, it just blew my mind.

Willie D. Davis

Broadcast executive and football player Willie D. Davis was born on July 24, 1934, in Lisbon, Louisiana to Nodie Bell and David Davis. Recruited to Grambling College (now Grambling State University) by football coach Eddie Robinson, Davis captained the football team and was a student on the dean’s list for two years. In 1956, he graduated from Grambling with his B.S. degree in math and industrial arts.

Davis was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the seventeenth round of the 1956 National Football League Draft. However, that same year, Davis was also drafted into the U.S. Army and was unable to begin his NFL career until 1958. After two years with the Browns, Davis was traded to the Green Bay Packers. For ten seasons, Davis played 138 consecutive regular season games and was a member of all five of Vince Lombardi’s NFL title-winning teams, playing in Super Bowls I and II. In his career with the Green Bay Packers, Davis recovered twenty-one fumbles, setting a team record, never missing any of the 162 games in his twelve-year tenure. Davis was awarded the Associated Press’ All-Pro honors in 1962 and from 1964 to 1967. During the last two years of his football career, Davis studied at the University of Chicago, earning his M.B.A degree in 1968. The following year, the Packers honored Davis’ retirement with Willie Davis Day. That same year, Davis purchased the West Coast Beverage Company and served as its president for eighteen years, while also working as a color commentator on the NFL telecasts for NBC in the early 1970s. Since 1976, Davis has been the president and chief executive officer of All Pro Broadcasting, Inc., a Los Angeles broadcasting company which owns radio stations in the Midwest and Southern California. In 1981, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Davis served as the director of the 1984 Olympics Committee in Los Angeles in 1984. That same year, President Reagan appointed him to the President’s Commission on the Executive Exchange.

Davis has served on the boards of the Sara Lee Corporation, the National Association of Broadcasters, Dow Chemical Company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Johnson Controls, MGM Mirage, Manpower, Fidelity National Financial, Wisconsin Energy, Strong Management Fund, Mattel Toys, Schlitz Brewing Company, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Bassett Furniture, Alliance Bank, the Green Bay Packers, the Kauffman Foundation, Occidental College and K-Mart. Davis is also an Emeritus Trustee for the University of Chicago and a Trustee at Marquette University. In 2001, Davis co-chaired and founded the Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends, a charitable organization created to assist various charities throughout Wisconsin. Davis was named the Walter Camp Man of the Year, was ranked 69th on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players and was given the Career Achievement Award from the NFL Alumni. Davis and his wife Ann have a son, Duane, and a daughter, Lori.

Willie D. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 9, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.200

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/9/2007

Last Name

Davis

Middle Name

D

Schools

Washington High School

Grambling State University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Lisbon

HM ID

DAV20

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Early Start Beats Fast Running.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/24/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Collard Greens

Short Description

Broadcast executive, football player, and entrepreneur Willie D. Davis (1934 - ) played for the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers, winning Super Bowls I and II. In 1981, Davis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was also the president and chief executive officer of All Pro Broadcasting, Inc.

Employment

All Pro Broadcasting

West Coast Beverage Company

NBC

Green Bay Packers (Football team)

Cleveland Browns (Football team : 1946-1995)

United States Army

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:7690,209:10927,253:12421,280:12753,285:36078,617:48870,733:58712,868:59370,876:59840,882:60404,889:66326,988:70650,1059:74410,1109:97300,1312:119392,1573:119966,1583:120950,1599:124148,1649:128904,1712:136940,1849:147044,1904:147434,1910:148058,1919:148370,1924:158267,2014:164591,2035:164939,2040:165287,2045:167562,2058:173488,2115:174734,2136:181042,2208:181978,2222:182602,2232:199722,2386:207701,2487:210350,2503$0,0:2511,55:6915,117:22440,344:23340,359:32126,447:32678,454:34150,509:34518,535:41754,590:53880,720:63346,790:64354,804:73426,971:106555,1343:114718,1408:118334,1454:120863,1495:122354,1500:123561,1531:132340,1600:135490,1646:137905,1682:138430,1688:139165,1698:143050,1747:167427,1983:168139,1992:172678,2055:173390,2064:177766,2087:179110,2101:185242,2183:185662,2189:187846,2214:188182,2219:188938,2233:189358,2239:193670,2251:203560,2335:204169,2343:207776,2373:214028,2462:214791,2472:216971,2504:226330,2614
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie D. Davis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis remembers his mother's religious involvement and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis recalls his decision to play football

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis describes his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis recalls his relationship with his father as an adult

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis recalls his early childhood in Lisbon, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis describes his earliest memories of Texarkana, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis recalls his family life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis remembers his community in Texarkana, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie D. Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis describes his elementary school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis recalls his personality in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis talks about his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis describes the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis remembers his junior high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis recalls teachers and friends at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis describes his high school activities and aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie D. Davis recalls the football team at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis describes his decision to attend Grambling College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis recalls meeting Coach Eddie Robinson

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis talks about his hesitation to attend Grambling College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis shares his first impressions of the Grambling football team

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis recalls his attempt to leave Grambling College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis remembers his college girlfriend

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis recalls becoming comfortable at Grambling College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis recalls a memorable football game at Grambling College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis talks about being drafted by the Cleveland Browns

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis remembers his service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis recalls playing for the Cleveland Browns

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis remembers being traded to the Green Bay Packers

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis describes his offseason job as a substitute teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis recalls playing for the Green Bay Packers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis recalls winning NFL championships with the Green Bay Packers

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis remembers earning his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis talks about why he pursued his M.B.A. degree

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis recalls working in the beverage industry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis remembers his service on corporate boards

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis talks about his work in the television and radio industries

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Willie D. Davis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Willie D. Davis describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

1$1

DATitle
Willie D. Davis recalls a memorable football game at Grambling College
Willie D. Davis recalls winning NFL championships with the Green Bay Packers
Transcript
Okay, Mr. Davis [HistoryMaker Willie D. Davis], the year is about 1956 now. You're getting ready to graduate from Grambling [Grambling College; Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana], and there are offers coming around now.$$After one of the greatest games we probably ever played, we were crowned the mythical like champions of the country. We beat Florida A&M [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida] in what they call the Hollywood Bowl [sic. Orange Blossom Classic] or something down in Florida. I never will forget this as long as I live. The paper in Florida had the next day Paul Brown, the everything coach of the Cleveland Browns, came to Florida to see--or was in Florida and he came to see the game. It said he came to see Willie Galimore and a guy by the name of Adolphus Frazier [Al Frazier], and he went away talking about Willie Davis and Ed Murray [Edward Murray], which was my teammate at Grambling. I guess I had credit for about twenty-seven tackles that night and, you know, just one of those crazy nights where everything worked for me. And probably was really my entree into the National Football League [NFL].$$So, did you flash back over your career at Grambling that night? Did everything flash over for you?$$(Laughter) I, yeah, I--well, what had been interesting is we stopped on the way down to Florida, and their running back, Adolphus Frazier, said, "Well, hey you guys." We ate dinner on campus and he said, "Well, you guys, you better touch me now because you won't see me in the game." You know, I'm always up for a challenge. And when he said--what I remember from that game probably will stick with me for as long as I--what I remember about that game. I hit Frazier and knocked him out of his shoes, up out of his shoes. And I looked at him and said, "Well, is this you?" (Laughter) It was a night. Murray ran for about three or four touchdowns and it was our great moment. It's so interesting because as I've said to many people today, I have been very fortunate to play on teams that won the championship at every level I ever played, and the other one that I was either captain or defensive captain of every team, including the Green Bay Packers.$$Since junior high school?$$Since junior high. I say it all the time, not to brag, but I say it as an example of leadership that I think I have been blessed with all my life. Through every year in football and through today in dealing with the corporate world.$Okay, so you're in Green Bay [Wisconsin] now under the great Vince Lombardi. You're there, now can you give us some highlights or, maybe first of all, anecdotes of Vince Lombardi. Anything that he did or said that really shaped you into your maturity as a player and a person?$$There are so many Lombardi quotes, starting with, "How you play this game is a reflection of how you'll live the rest of your life." Something that resonates with me almost every day now in business. And I think Coach Lombardi said this was the example that we had to somehow live through. And, I tell you, that one in particular because he indeed hit something when he said the way you play this game is the way you'll live the rest of your life in some ways. But the Green Bay Packer [Green Bay Packers] situation was just a great experience to me. Today there're eight players off of that team that's in the Hall of Fame [Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio], and with Lombardi, nine people.$$Can you name some of those, including yourself?$$Well, it's Jimmy Taylor [Jim Taylor], Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, Jim Ringo, Herb Adderley, Willie Wood, Ray Nitschke and Henry Jordan and--$$--and Willie Davis [HistoryMaker Willie D. Davis].$$Yes, and Willie Davis. One of the proudest moments of my life. Never will forget it. I'm in Canton, Ohio and I'm standing up there being introduced by Coach Eddie Robinson. The situation was emotional, and I look out at my mother [Nodie Allen Archie]. It was the last event, big event she saw in my life. And I'm thinking and I remember I looked out and I said, "Mom, this is a long way from Texarkana, and no one ever assured us that we were on the right road, but today (laughter) it was the right road." And at that, she blew up. And you're up there and they've already taken bets on whether you can get through it without breaking down. And I said, when I saw that, I said, "Aw, they got me."$$That's beautiful.$$But it was absolute one of the greatest moments in my life. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a personal achievement but what I resonate well with is the six championship games we played at Green Bay, and we were five times world champions, including the last team that win three consecutive championships. All of those things to me, I look at now and say, you know, and the thought that somehow in your mind the first thing Green Bay was gonna be was your downfall. So, you never know in life, and I said, the best thing I've ever done in my life is to try to make the best out of every situation where you have an opportunity. Because you never know.