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George Murray

Entrepreneur George Murray was born on November 24, 1942 in Kansas City, Kansas to Luretta Fielder and Harold Murray. After graduating from Bonner Springs High School in 1960, Murray joined the Air Force, completing his basic training in San Antonio, Texas. He was discharged in 1964 after completing three years’ service in France. Murray received his B.A. degree in business and accounting from Central Missouri State University in 1970, and his M.B.A. degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) in 1972.

Prior to attending Central Missouri State University, Murray worked at the Kansas City Missouri post office from 1964 to 1967. During his two years at UMKC, he worked part time for the Black Economic Union helping minority businesses develop their accounting systems, marketing strategies, internal controls and management skills. In 1972, Murray joined the accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota as an accountant on the audit team. Three years later, he moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Booker T. Washington Foundation where he helped minority local elected officials bring the benefits of cable television franchising to their communities. In 1980, Murray went to work for Curtis McClinton, head of Economic Development Administration's Office of Special Projects in the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he provided loans and loan guarantees to minority businesses including automobile dealerships, restaurant franchises and small manufacturing businesses. Murray was appointed acting assistant secretary for finance for the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1981, controlling over $3 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Murray also founded and operated Majestic Enterprises, a parking management company located in Washington, D.C. In 1985, Murray left the government, sold his parking company and formed G.E. Murray & Associates which became a Midas muffler franchisee in Capitol Heights, Maryland. During the next five years, Murray built two additional franchises, one in Clinton, Maryland and the other in Camp Springs, Maryland. In 1986, Murray founded GE Cellular and began to apply for cellular licenses in selected areas of the country, and was successful in owning two licenses and participating in the ownership of several others. Murray sold the licenses in 1989 and 1990. In the early 1990s, Murray began to purchase buildings alone the H. Street Corridor N.E. in Washington, D.C. He went on to form the real estate development company East Chop, LLC. In 2007, Murray sold his Midas franchises and leased the land and buildings to Midas International.

In 1989, Murray and his wife, Stephanie Phillipps formed the Phillipps-Murray Foundation. The Foundation provides scholarships to minority students in the D.C. metropolitan area. In the 2000s Murray served on the board of City First Bank, which provided credit and financial services to Washington, D.C.'s low and moderate income neighborhoods. Murray was also a member of the National Association of Guardsmen.

George Murray and his wife reside in Washington, D.C. and have two adult children: Sydney Murray and Michael Murray.

George Murray was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.089

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2019

Last Name

Murray

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

University of Central Missouri

University of Missouri, Kansas City

Bonner Springs High School

First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

GEO04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Barts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/24/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pasta and Clams

Short Description

Entrepreneur George Murray (1942- ) was an independent investor in cellular service licenses and developed properties on H Street in Washington, D.C.

Employment

G.E. Murray & Associates, Inc.

Gemco

Kansas City Missouri Post Office

Black Economic Union

Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.

Booker T. Washington Foundation

Economic Development Administration's Office of Special Projects

U.S. Department of Commerce

Majestic Enterprises

GE Cellular

Eat Chop, LLC

Favorite Color

Blue

Barbara Bowles

Financier Barbara Bowles was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 17, 1947. Growing up in racially segregated Nashville, Bowles was an excellent student. She received her B.A. in mathematics with honors from Fisk University in 1968 and then accepted an offer from First National Bank of Chicago to fund her M.B.A. in finance, which she earned in 1971 from the University of Chicago, while working as a management trainee. She was the first African American in the program. Bowles spent over a decade in the investment management area of First National Bank (now Bank One) after she graduated, becoming the first African American woman there promoted to vice president. Bowles moved on to head the investor relations departments at Beatrice Companies, Inc. from 1981 to 1984 and Kraft, Inc. from 1984 to 1989.

In 1989, Bowles became the first African American female equity manager in Chicago when she established the Kenwood Group, Inc. It took six months to win her firm's first client, Quaker Oats. Since then, the Kenwood Group has attracted many other high profile clients, including: Abbott Laboratories, the Field Museum and the Chicago Transit Authority. Bowles' firm manages pension, endowment and public funds, is 100 percent minority-owned and manages assets of nearly $500 million. In 1996, Bowles became the first African American woman to launch a mutual fund with the debut of the Kenwood Growth and Income Fund. Her company has been featured in Crain's Chicago Business, Black Enterprise and various other media.

Bowles serves on the board of directors at Black & Decker Corporation; Georgia-Pacific Corporation; Wisconsin Energy Corporation; Hyde Park Bank and Trust Company of Chicago; the Chicago Urban League; Children's Memorial Hospital and Fisk University.

She is married to Earl Bowles and has one son.

Accession Number

A2002.098

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/16/2002

Last Name

Bowles

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Speakers Bureau

No

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

BOW01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Quote

If you believe it and if you work at it, you can achieve it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/17/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Investment manager Barbara Bowles (1947 - ) became the first African American female equity manager in Chicago when she established the Kenwood Group in 1989. In 1996, Bowles became the first African American woman to launch a mutual fund with the debut of the Kenwood Growth and Income Fund.

Employment

First National Bank

Beatrice Companies, Inc.

Kraft, Inc.

Kenwood Group

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3720">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Bowles interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3721">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Bowles lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3722">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Bowles describes her parents' backgrounds</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3723">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Bowles remembers her neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee during her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3724">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Bowles recalls the schools, teachers and experiences from her childhood in Nashville</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3725">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Bowles talks about segregation and the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3726">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Bowles weighs her major in college</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3727">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Bowles details her experiences at Fisk University and being recruited by IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3728">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Bowles details her experiences as a young executive at First National Bank of Chicago during the late 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3729">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Bowles shares an anecdote of her mother's hardscrabble existence in Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3730">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Bowles shares stories from her experiences at First National Bank of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3731">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Bowles talks about her transition into a new position at Beatrice Foods International</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3732">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Bowles details her job duties at Beatrice Foods International and Kraft Foods Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3733">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Bowles decides to start her own investment company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3734">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Bowles explains the activities of her investment company, The Kenwood Group, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3735">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Bowles details how her investment company obtained Quaker Oats as a client</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3736">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Bowles explains life on the stock exchange trading floor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3737">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Bowles offers financial advice for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3738">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Bowles contemplates the legacy of her investment firm, The Kenwood Group, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3739">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Bowles explains the significance of the business name, The Kenwood Group, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3740">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Bowles gives career advice to youth wanting to get into investment banking</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3741">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Bowles comments on her mother's view of her success and how she would like to be remembered</a>