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Lydia Mallett

Corporate executive Lydia G. Mallett was born on August 22, 1954 in Detroit, Michigan to Conrad Mallett Sr. and Claudia Mallett. In 1976, Mallett received her B.A. degree in psychology from Michigan State University. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in labor and industrial relations in 1979 and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in social psychology in 1981, all from Michigan State University.

After serving as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan-Flint School of Management, Mallett moved to Chicago, Illinois to join James H. Lowry Associates as a consultant. She later served as director of human resources advisory at Coopers & Lybrand. Mallett went on to serve as vice president/chief diversity officer at General Mills, where she designed and implemented a co-mentoring strategy for women and people of color. In 1999, she served as director of human resources for the Snacks Unlimited division of General Mills. In 2004, Mallett was hired by Tyco International as vice president of staffing and vice president of diversity and inclusion. Eight years later, she joined DuPont as director of global talent acquisition, chief diversity officer, and employee engagement leader. In 2018, she attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program, “Women on Boards: Succeeding as a Corporate Director.” The same year, Mallett served as managing director of Mallett Consulting & Associates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mallett is a board member of the Feminist Press and a member of the American Psychological Association. Mallett served as chair of the Executive Leadership Council’s governance committee and as chair of the Conference Board’s Council on Global Diversity. She was elected president of the Minnesota Women’s Campaign Fund and served as the White House appointment for the National Women’s Business Council. Mallett served as president of the Chicago chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women before being elected national president in 1997. In 2011 and 2018, she was listed as a Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise.

Mallett lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her partner Stanley White. She has one daughter, Noel.

Lydia Mallett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.069

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/13/2019

Last Name

Mallett

Maker Category
Middle Name

Gwendolyn

Occupation
Schools

Michigan State University

First Name

Lydia

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

MAL11

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Do you want to be heard, or do you want to have your say?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

8/22/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

USA

Favorite Food

King Crab Legs

Short Description

Corporate executive Lydia G. Mallett (1954- ) served in executive positions at General Mills, Tyco International, and DuPont.

Employment

The University of Michigan-Flint

James H. Lowry Associates

Coopers & Lybrand

General Mills

General Mills, Snacks Unlimited Division

Tyco International, Inc.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Mallett Consulting & Associates

Wayne County Government

Favorite Color

Red

Maurita Coley

Lawyer and nonprofit executive Maurita Coley was born on June 18, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan. Coley graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1973 and went on to receive her B.A. in communications arts and sciences from Michigan State University in 1977. In 1981, Coley received her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

In 1981, Coley joined Clark Klein & Beaumont as an associate attorney in Detroit, Michigan. Two years later, she moved to Cole Raywid and Braverman, where she served as an attorney and partner. In 1993, Coley joined BET Networks as senior vice president of legal affairs; and, in 1995, she became senior vice president of network operations and programming. In 1999, Coley returned to Cole Raywid and Braverman, which became Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in 2007. She later served as principal of Coley Law and Media, PLLC, in 2009, where she worked for three years. In 2010, Coley joined Capital Area Asset Builders as its executive director. Two years later, Coley served as executive vice president, chief operating officer, and acting chief executive officer of Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council. In 2018, she was promoted to president and chief executive officer.

Coley served as co-committee chair for Georgetown Law Center’s Black Alumni Endowment at the first Georgetown Black Law Alumni Reunion. She also served as co-agent for Davis Wright Tremaine law firm in the Georgetown Law Firm Challenge. In 2014, Coley was on the Strategic Planning Council of Alumni Leaders of Georgetown University Law Center. She is an executive committee member of Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation (DAPCDC), and is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the State of Michigan Bar, and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

Coley has received multiple awards for her work including the 2005 Distinguished Alumnae Award from Georgetown University Law Center’s Women’s Law Forum, being named a CableFax Top Lawyer in 2017, and receiving the 2018 President’s Award for Community Service from Black Data Professionals Association.

Coley and her husband, Paul Flippin, reside in Washington, D.C.

Maurita Coley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/20/2019

Last Name

Coley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

K.

Occupation
Schools

Roosevelt Elementary School

Pattengill Elementary School

Webber Middle School

George W. Ferris School

George Ford Middle School

Cass Technical High School

Michigan State University

Georgetown University Law Center

Johns Hopkins University

First Name

Maurita

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

COL38

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

If you don't have anything to say to someone's face, don't say it behind their back.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/18/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Lawyer and nonprofit executive Maurita Coley (1955 - ) was a partner at Coley Raywid and Braverman and senior vice president of legal affairs, network operations, and programming at BET Networks before becoming president and chief executive officer of Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council in 2018.

Employment

Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC)

Capital Area Asset Builders

Coley Law and Media, PLLC

Cole Raywid & Braverman

Cole Raywid & Braverman (Davis Wright Tremaine)

BET Holdings, LLC

Detroit News

Clark Klein & Braverman

Favorite Color

Orange/Salmon

Trudy DunCombe Archer

Judge Trudy DunCombe Archer was born on August 29, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan to Eleanor and James DunCombe, Jr. She attended George A. Custer Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School, Durfee Junior High School, and Central High School. In 1964, Archer received her B.S. degree in education from Eastern Michigan University. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in education from Wayne State University in 1971 and her J.D. degree from Detroit College of Law in 1981.

Archer served as an elementary school teacher at Ralph Bunche Elementary School from 1964 to 1969, and at Bellevue Elementary School from 1970 to 1973. In 1983, Archer was appointed assistant corporation counsel for the City of Detroit. Four years later, she joined Detroit College of Law as assistant dean. In 1989, Governor James Blanchard appointed Archer judge of Michigan’s 36th District Court. From 1993 to 2001, Archer served as First Lady while her husband, Dennis W. Archer, served as mayor of Detroit. As First Lady, Archer focused on Detroit’s youth, mentoring and encouraging children and their parents at school sponsored programs and forums. In 2006, she retired from her position as judge on the 36th District Court.

Archer has been a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, Detroit Metropolitan Bar, the Wolverine Bar, and the Association of Black Judges of Michigan. She belongs to the Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. She has served on the boards of the Children’s Center, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan/Pediatric Clinical Services, the Junior League of Detroit, the Greening of Detroit, and the African American Parent Magazine. A life member of the NAACP, Archer was also a member of the Millionaires Club of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, the Detroit chapters of Girl Friends, Links, and the International Women’s Forum, Michigan chapter. Archer served as director emeritus for the Detroit Institute of Arts, advisor to the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan for the Dennis W. Archer Foundation, and on the advisory committee of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association’s Charitable Foundation Fund.

In 1995, Archer received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University Detroit Mercy. In 2011, she received the Women of Excellence Award from the Michigan Chronicle. Archer also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Wolverine Student Bar Association and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award. For her work on projects aimed toward children and bettering the community, she has received the Goodfellows Tribute Award, the Distinguished Citizen Award presented by the Detroit Area Council Boy Scouts of America, and the American Heart Association’s Cor Vitae Award for Community Service.

Archer and her husband have two children: Dennis W. Archer, Jr. and Vincent DunCombe Archer, and two grandsons: Dennis W. Archer, III and Chase Alexander Archer.

Trudy DunCombe Archer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.079

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/19/2019

Last Name

Archer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

DunCombe

Occupation
Schools

Thurgood Marshall Elementary School

Durfee Elementary School

Central High School

Eastern Michigan University

Wayne State University

Michigan State College of Law

First Name

Trudy

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

ARC14

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring...really the four seasons

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Paris, and Italy

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

8/29/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster and Lamb chops

Short Description

Judge Trudy DunCombe Archer (1943 - ) served as a judge on Michigan’s 36th District Court from 1989 to 2006, and as First Lady to Detroit during the administration of her husband, Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer.

Employment

State of Michigan

Detroit College of Law

City of Detroit

Bellevue Elementary School

Ralph Bunche Elementary School

Favorite Color

Orange, red, and all warm colors

Kevan Hall

Fashion designer Kevan Hall was born on October 11, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan to
Angeline and Curtis Hall. He graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1975 and earned his A.A. degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. He also completed coursework at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, California.

In 1977, Hall began his fashion career as an assistant to sportswear designer Harriet Selwyn at her company, Harriet Selwyn Fragments, Co. He subsequently worked as an independent freelance designer and as senior designer for the girls’ junior sportswear brand, On Top of California, from 1980 to 1982. In 1983, he founded Kevan Hall Couture, selling his designs to luxury retailers including Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Bergdorf Goodman. In 1997, Hall joined Halston NYC as the design and creative director, where he worked until the spring of 2000. A year later, he founded Kevan Hall Company and launched his own signature ready to wear line, the Kevan Hall Collection. In January of 2014, Hall launched Kevan Hall SPORT, a lifestyle brand of active wear for women. Hall and his designs have been featured at Vogue’s Met Gala in New York, and in the television shows Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane and America’s Next Top Model, which featured his spring 2009 collection as a runway challenge while he served as a guest judge. Adrienne Maloof from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills featured Hall's collection in a fashion show to introduce her new shoe line. Hall has also made guest appearances on national television shows such as Inside Edition, Extreme Makeover, The Better Half, and E!'s Fashion Police.

After graduating from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Hall received the Peacock Award for Outstanding Fashion Design. In 1989, the NAACP named him the Great American Designer; and, in 2005, Life & Style magazine named him Stylemaker of the Year.

Hall and his wife, Deborah Lee, have two adult children, Asia and Evan, and reside in California.

Kevan Hall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 14, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.230

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/14/2018

Last Name

Hall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Kevan

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

HAL18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sequoia National Park

Favorite Quote

Philippians: I Can Do All Things Through Christ

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Pasta/Seafood/Salmon

Short Description

Fashion designer Kevan Hall (1957- ) founded the Kevan Hall Company and was best known for his couture red carpet designs and his role as the design and creative director of Halston.

Favorite Color

Gray

William Banfield

Professor and composer William Banfield was born on March 24, 1961 in Detroit, Michigan to William Banfield and Anne Banfield. He attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan and graduated in 1979. Banfield enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated with his B.M. degree in jazz studies in 1983. He later received his Th.M. degree from Boston University in 1988, and his D.M.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1992.

Banfield accepted his first teaching position at Madison Park High School in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1983, he resigned from his position and founded BMagic Records. Two years later, Banfield founded Young Artists Development, Inc. After he received his D.M.A. degree in 1992, Banfield served as assistant professor of African American Studies/Music at Indiana University. In 1997, Banfield served as the endowed chair of humanities, professor of music, director of American cultural studies/jazz, popular, world music studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. He then became the W.E.B. DuBois fellow at Harvard University in 2002. The following year, Banfield was the visiting Atelier artist at Princeton University; and, in 2005, he was hired as a visiting professor of composition at the University of Minnesota. Banfield subsequently accepted an appointment at the Berklee College of Music as a professor and director of the Africana Studies program. In 2010, he was hired by Quincy Jones’ foundation called the QFoundation, to write a national music curriculum for American popular music.

Banfield has also released a number of albums which include Extensions of the Tradition in 1996, Striking Balance in 2004, Spring Forward in 2009, and Playing with Other People’s Heads in 2014. He was also the host of National Public Radio’s “Landscapes in Color: Conversations with Black American Composers” and an original program on WCAL at St. Olaf College entitled, “Essays of Note.” Banfield has authored seven books, completed six symphonies and two operas. In 2014, Banfield launched JazzUrbane, a contemporary jazz recording label. He has also served on the Pulitzer Prize composition panel.

William Banfield was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 17, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.218

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/17/2018

Last Name

Banfield

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

BAN06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

3/24/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Professor and composer William Banfield (1961- ) was made director of Africana Studies at the Berklee College of Music in 2006, and has released several albums as a recording artist, wrote six symphonies and two operas, and published seven books.

Favorite Color

Blue

Harry Seymour

Educator and painter Harry N. Seymour was born on August 30, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, to Matilda Dawson and famous black golfer Robert Seymour. Raised in Ecorse, Michigan, Seymour attended Miller Elementary School, Ecorse Junior High School, and graduated from Ecorse High School in 1960. He attended Howard University where he earned his B.A. degree in business administration in 1964. After graduation, he worked as a manager and buyer at F&R Lazarus & Co., and in 1998, he entered graduate programs at The Ohio State University, earning his M.A. degree in speech pathology in 1968, and his Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science in 1971.

Seymour served as a professor of speech and hearing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1971 to 2002, becoming a full professor in 1987, and chairing the Department of Communication Disorders from 1992 to 2002. Seymour’s scholarship focused on child language disorders, and he published over 40 articles, and made over 100 professional presentations addressing nonbiased assessment of speech and language disorders among African American children. He was the lead author of the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation (DELV), and was the principal investigator on the $2,700,000 National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders grant to develop the DELV, the only test in speech and language designed and standardized specifically to reduce linguistic and cultural bias in testing African American children who speak nonmainstream American English. After retiring from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002, Seymour moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he began a professional career as a painter, and developed a unique method and style of painting, combining traditional scratchart methodology with pan and wax pastels.

Seymour is a fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Howard University’s School of Communications. He also received the Honors of the National Black Association of Speech, Language and Hearing for his research and mentoring of African American students. His other awards include the ASHA Multicultural Service Award, was commended in Resolution #63, by the Mississippi State Senate for his research on behalf of African- American children, and the editor’s Award: Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. In 2003, Seymour was presented the highest recognition from his professional association—the Honors of the ASHA for distinguished contributions to the field of Speech-Language Pathology.

Seymour and his wife, Charlena Seymour, have a son and daughter, Harry A. Seymour and Shayna Seymour Carr.

Harry N. Seymour was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.160

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/19/2018

Last Name

Seymour

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Harry

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

SEY01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruising

Favorite Quote

Live In The Moment.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/30/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Educator and painter Harry N. Seymour (1942-) taught in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Communication Disorders for thirty-one years, before retiring and becoming a professional painter.

Favorite Color

Blue

Scott Syphax

Business executive Scott Syphax was born on July 13, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan to Vernettia Gilmore Syphax and Charles Syphax. Raised in Sacramento, California, Syphax graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1981, and became the manager of The Vortex, a nightclub in downtown Sacramento. After working as an executive fellow with the public policy and leadership training program at the Coro Foundation, Syphax then earned his B.S. degree in business administration, real estate development, and land use planning from California State University, Sacramento in 1992.

From 1992 to 1994, Syphax worked as a senior policy consultant for California State Senator Robert Presley. He then served as chief executive officer of the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences for one year, before accepting a position as senior lobbyist for the California Medical Association. From 1999 to 2001, Syphax worked as the manager of public affairs for the pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly and Company; and then in 2001, Syphax became the president and chief executive officer of the Nehemiah Corporation of America, a real estate and community development company. In 2009, Syphax founded the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program; and the following year, he launched the Neighborhood Restoration Program and the Roofs for Troops program. He was also a developer for the Township Nine project, a sixty-five acre mixed-use development project in Sacramento’s River District. In 2011, Syphax became the producer and host of the PBS KVIE public television show Studio Sacramento, which won an Emmy Award in 2013 for an episode on human trafficking. After leaving the Nehemiah Corporation of America in 2017, Syphax founded Syphax Strategic Solution.

Syphax received numerous awards for his professional accomplishments, including the 2011 Exemplary Leader Award from the American Leadership Forum, the Economic Trailblazer Award from the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, the Al Geiger Award from the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the American Council on Arab Islamic Relations, all in 2013. Syphax was also the recipient of the Urban League’s 2016 Community Empowerment Award and the Congressman Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award from The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee in 2017. Syphax served on the board of Sutter Health San Sierra, Homeaid America, the California Medical Association Foundation, Valley Vision, and the Bay Area Council. Syphax was also a member of the California Department Insurance Task Force on Board Governance and Supplier Diversity.

Scott Syphax was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 3, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.060

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/3/2018

Last Name

Syphax

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C.

Organizations
Schools

Atkinson Elementary School

John F. Kennedy High School

California State University, Sacramento

First Name

Scott

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

SYP01

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

In The Land Of The Blind The One-eyed Man Is King.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/13/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Sacramento

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Business executive Scott Syphax (1963 - ) was the president and chief executive officer of the Nehemiah Corporation of America, the founder of Syphax Strategic Solutions, and the host and producer of the television show Studio Sacramento.

Favorite Color

Red

Paul Riser, Sr.

Musician and music arranger Paul Riser, Sr. was born on September 11, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan. Riser attended Keating Elementary School in Detroit, where he began to develop an interest in music. Riser later enrolled at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, where he studied classical and jazz trombone, as well as musical theory. At Cass Technical High School, he was mentored and encouraged by people such as Dr. Harold Arnoldi and Dr. Harry Begian. He graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1961.

After graduation, Riser began working as a session musician playing trombonist with The Funk Brothers at Motown Records. By 1963, Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, chose Riser to work as a music arranger at Motown Records. He worked on a number of Motown hits during his tenure, including “ I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, ”My Girl” by The Temptations, “My Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross, "If I Were Your Woman" by Gladys Knight & The Pips, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)” written by Ashford and Simpson as performed by Diana Ross, and “The Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Following his departure from Motown Records in 1973, Paul Riser continued to arrange songs for popular artists. He has worked with artists such as Quincy Jones, The Carpenters, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Phil Collins. In 2003, Riser arranged music for R. Kelly’s fifth studio album, Chocolate Factory. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and sold over three million copies worldwide.

In 1972, Riser won a Grammy Award for “Best R&B Instrumental Performance” for the song “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations. He was nominated for another Grammy Award in 1982, for “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals” for the song “Do I Do”, which was performed by Stevie Wonder. In 2009, Riser was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

Riser and his wife have a son, Paul Riser, Jr.

Paul Riser, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.187

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/18/2017

Last Name

Riser

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

RIS01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Nice Job, But Let’s Do It Again

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

9/11/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Banana Pudding

Short Description

Musician and music arranger Paul Riser, Sr. (1943 - ) worked as a session musician and music arranger for Motown Records from 1961 until 1973. He arranged music for many artists since his departure from Motown and has won two Grammy Awards.

Favorite Color

Aqua

Miller London

Music executive Miller London was born on October 13, 1946 in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Estabrook Elementary School and McMichael Junior High School and graduated from Northwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1964. After high school, London attended Highland Park Junior College before he enrolled at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where he studied history and English.

While in college, London worked in the sales department at both Star Hickey Ford and then the Bill Markley Chevrolet dealerships in Detroit. In 1969, London was hired as the first African American regional sales manager at Motown Records and was the first African American to work in any major record company’s sales department. London was later promoted as the record company’s executive vice president and general manager for the company. London worked at Motown Records for twenty-one years, before he left in 1990, and joined RCA Records in New York. There, he became the first African American to head a label’s sales division for all music genres. He was later promoted to vice president of product and development, and became vice president of marketing. He then joined A&M Records in Los Angeles, California as executive vice president and general manager of its urban music division, where he worked with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, CeCe Peniston and Barry White. London then assisted the N.W.A. rapper Ice Cube develop his independent record label, Lench Mob Records. In 1994, London became the president of The Urban Network magazine. When Clear Channel Entertainment purchased the magazine, London became its executive vice president of urban entertainment. In 2003, London purchased The Urban Network from Clear Channel Entertainment and became its president and CEO. In 2017, he joined The Celeb Group as senior vice president.

In 2012, he collaborated with Bert Dearing to form Detroit-based Russell Street Entertainment to bring in young talent and teach them the business side of music. London is the 2016 recipient of The Living Legends Foundation’s Chairman’s Award. He also served on the board of directors of The Living Legends Foundation.

Miller London was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.186

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/18/2017 |and| 10/20/2017

Last Name

London

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Northwestern High School

Highland Park Junior College

Wayne State University

First Name

Miller

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

LON05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

10/13/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Music executive Miller London (1946 - ) worked at Motown Records for twenty-one years as its executive vice president and general manager. He also worked as an executive at RCA Records, A&M Records, and as owner of The Urban Network magazine.

Employment

Bert's Ent. Complex

Urban Network

A and M Records

RCA Records

Motown Records

Bill Markley

Stark Hickey Ford

Favorite Color

Brown

Patricia Cosby

Music executive Patricia Cosby was born on February 9, 1944 to Willie Thompson and Meomi Seay Thompson. She graduated from Northwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1961 and attended Detroit Business Institute.

In 1962, Cosby began working at Motown Records in Detroit, Michigan. She began working as a switchboard receptionist and was promoted to tape librarian under the supervision of Frances Heard Maclin, the first assistant in the tape library. Cosby later became an album coordinator. At Motown, Cosby met her husband, Hank Cosby. Her husband produced hits such as “The Tears of a Clown” and “My Cherie Amour.” In 1972, Cosby and her husband, moved to Los Angeles, California when the company relocated. In 1974, Cosby earned songwriting credits for two songs on the Blood, Sweat, & Tears album, Mirror Image. The songs are titled “Tell Me That I’m Wrong” and “Love Looks Good On You (You’re Candy Sweet),” with the album reaching 149 on the Billboard Pop Album chart. Cosby left Motown Records and in 1985, she secured a position with Embassy Pictures as a procurement coordinator, working under television producer Norman Lear. After two years at Embassy Pictures, she moved back to Detroit in 1987 and later worked for the health insurance company, Cigna in 1990. Cosby served as a contracting manager and retired from her position at Cigna in 2005.

In 2002, her husband, Hank Cosby, passed away, with over 300 mourners at his funeral, Stevie Wonder, Rance Allen and Jennifer Fouche sang at his funeral. In 2006, Hank Cosby was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Cosby was also a member of the Motown Historical Museum and the Heroes and Legends Scholarship Foundation.

Patricia Cosby had two children with and her husband, Henry Cosby: Henry Cosby, Jr., and William Cosby. Her husband Henry Cosby, also had another son, Kevin Cosby, from a previous marriage.

Patricia Cosby was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 17, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.185

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/17/2017

Last Name

Cosby

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Jefferson Intermediate School

Hancock Elementary School

High School of Commerce and Business Administration

Northwestern High School

Detroit Business Institute

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

COS03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas

Favorite Quote

If It Feels Good, Do It

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

2/9/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Record executive Patricia Cosby (1944 - ) was a receptionist, tape librarian, and album coordinator for Motown Records Corporation and was married to Motown writer and producer Henry “Hank” Cosby.

Employment

Motown Records

Embassy Pictures

CIGNA Healthcare

Favorite Color

Yellow; Red