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The Honorable Larry Bullock

Senator and former state representative Rev. Larry S. Bullock was born on April 14, 1946 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Bullock was the first African American student to be admitted to Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he graduated with his B.S. degree in political science. In 1969, he moved to Chicago, enrolled at Roosevelt University, and received his M.P.A. degree. After graduating from Roosevelt University in 1973, Bullock taught school in Evanston, Illinois. He also became active in Operation PUSH, finding a mentor in the Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr.

Bullock’s experience working with PUSH eventually led him into politics. He ran for Representative of Chicago’s 2nd Ward, but lost to incumbent William Barnett. Two years later, Bullock ran again and was defeated; however, Bullock prepared to run again and in 1978, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. While in the state legislature, Bullock served on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Banking, Revenue and Labor committees. He sponsored legislation for the expansion of McCormick Place and chaired the House Governmental Operations Committee. He was also Chairman of the first Black Illinois Domestic Summit Conference.

Bullock served a total of four terms in the House. He ran for Congress in 1986 but lost to U.S. Congressman Charles B. Hayes.

Bullock later became an ordained minister at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, and then founded and served as senior pastor of the Living Faith Cathedral Worship Church. He also worked as national manager of strategic relationships for Stewart Title Company and hosted two radio shows on WYLL-AM: “The Faith Factor: Jew and Christian In Dialogue” and “Real Estate Made Easy.” Bullock is also owner and president of April Cobra Enterprises, Inc., a construction management, general contracting and real estate development firm.

Bullock serves as president of the Roosevelt University Alumni Association and is a member of the Roosevelt University Board of Trustees. He is also founder and president of the U.S. Minority Contractors Association, and chairman of Heartland Energy Technology. His honors include the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ Presidential Award and the 2006-2007 SuccessGuide Worldwide magazine “Top Achievers” award.

Bullock is married to Dr. Gloria E. Bullock. He has two children and five grandsons.

Larry S. Bullock was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 20, 2000.

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Mount Airy High

Roosevelt University

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Favorite Season

Fall, Spring


North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Canada, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

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Favorite Food

Fish, Cornbread, Pie (Blackberry)

Short Description

State representative The Honorable Larry Bullock (1946 - ) has served a total of four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, is an ordained minister, and is the president of his own construction company.


Illinois General Assembly

Ebenezer A.M.E. Church

April Cobra Enterprises, Inc.

Favorite Color


Timing Pairs

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Bullock's interview</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock lists his favorites</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock talks about his parents and his siblings</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock describes his mother, Anna Potea, and her strong support for him</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Bullock describes his memories of his maternal grandparents</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Bullock talks about his father, Edward Bullock, and his paternal grandparents</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Bullock talks about how family, church, and athletics taught him responsibility and leadership</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Bullock describes his integration of Mount Airy High School</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Bullock talks about how a negative experience at Catawba College influenced his decision to enter politics</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Bullock talks about working on Earl Ruth's U.S. Congressional campaign in college</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Bullock describes his involvement with state politics in Illinois</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Bullock reflects upon his political career in Illinois and the media's distrust of politicians</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Larry Bullock talks about the impact of the press on public servants and public cynicism</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Larry Bullock talks about his desire to protect his family from the public eye</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Bullock describes his integration of Mount Airy High School and facing hostility as a black athlete</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock talks about his decision to attend Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock talks about his experience as the first African American at Catawba College</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock describes the influence of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 assassination on his interest in politics</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Bullock remembers being the first African American to graduate from Catawba College</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Bullock describes how he joined The Civil Rights Movement by working with working with Reverends Jesse Jackson Sr. and Willie Barrow at Operation PUSH</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Bullock reflects on his life post-politics as an A.M.E. minister and a construction business owner</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Bullock talks about entering the ministry</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Bullock describes how Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. taught him how to use his education to better the black community</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Bullock talks about running for political office</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Bullock describes his decision to run for the Illinois House of Representatives</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Larry Bullock talks about running for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Bullock talks about his relationship with Illinois State Representative Corneal Davis</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock defends the legacy of Illinois State Representative Corneal Davis as a staunch advocate for civil rights</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock reflects on his greatest achievements as an Illinois House Representative from 1978 to 1986</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock talks about the strength of the Illinois Black Caucus during his tenure in the Illinois House of Representatives</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Bullock describes how the election of Mayor Harold Washington influenced the African American agenda</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Bullock talks about unfinished business in politics</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Bullock describes his conviction for mail fraud</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Bullock talks about his incarceration and overcoming his anger</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Bullock describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Bullock laments the black electorate's lack of appreciation for state government</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Bullock talks about Roland Burris, the first African American State Comptroller</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Bullock talks about political success and the importance of the federal government</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock describes African American gains in political representation</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock talks about the need for African American mentors in politics</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock reflects upon his legacy</a>







Larry Bullock talks about how a negative experience at Catawba College influenced his decision to enter politics
Larry Bullock describes his decision to run for the Illinois House of Representatives
During that time, did you consciously make a decision to go into public life or--$$Interesting enough, I was introduced to public life in the senior year of high school. Which was the one year that I went to the, what was then predominantly, all white high school, Mount Airy High School [Mount Airy, North Carolina]. And I took a course, a geography course under a teacher by the name of Ms. Myr'am Levering, who was a Quaker, whose husband was a Quaker and very involved in the Society of Friends. And one week they said, "We'd like for you to go with us to a retreat." And so, they took me to Black Mountain, North Carolina, which is up in the northeastern part of the state, up by Asheville [North Carolina]. And it was a retreat where I had the opportunity to meet then-Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant, from Burma. And I came back to school, and I said to Ms. Levering, "I think I'd like to do that." And so, I had no knowledge prior to that what I was gonna go to college to major in. Primarily, I was gonna go to college to play basketball, play football. And she said, "Well, you think you'd like to do that?" I said, "I think I would." So she said, "Why don't you major in political science or history when you go to college?" And so I decided then, I was gonna major in history. And I always liked history. And so then, I went to college [Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina]. And my first year, I was gonna major in history, and I had a very bad experience my first year in college being the first black. And then, I switched to political science, and that led me into pre-law and aspirations to run for public office.$$Can you tell us about that bad experience?$$It was a experience that probably shaped my destiny. When I arrived at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, in September of 1965, I enrolled in my courses. And I took a course in United States history. A professor, who was Dr. C. Craig Singer, was the professor. And after the first test--I got it back and I think I got a C+ or something like that. And I went to him because I was quite disturbed that I'd got a C+ because I loved history. And I knew I was a, a good student in history. And he told me at that time that I would never make more than a "B" in his class. That that's the best that a black could get in his class. So I then went and told the coach, who then said, "Let me handle it." And then he talked to some people, and they agreed that I should not major in history, that I could major in political science. And they took me out of the history curriculum and that's how I got into the political science and made friendship with another white family by the last name of Coopers. Mr. Peter Cooper and his wife, who took an interest in me. And then I majored in political science and became involved in the campus activity of the--what you call World Peace Club. And the Quakers were involved. And I become involved in the International Relations Club in addition to playing basketball and running track. And so, that's how I got into politics at the undergraduate level and at the college level. Because of that incident that shaped my destiny.$Why did you even think about running for the state legislature to begin with? I mean, why that? That's you could have continued running for alderman. People don't always make that jump.$$The question as to why I would run for the State House [Illinois] and not run for alderman again--quite frankly, I had been involved more in state government than in local government. I had not worked in the Chicago City Council. I had been working in Springfield [Illinois], and, of course, in Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist. So my interest was always state government, not local government. But I ran for the first seat that came up. When I decided now was the time for me to run for public office, I ran for the seat that came up first. And some had said that, even if you lose, you will get your name out there people will know about you, and then you can run for the House. So there was perhaps some truth in that statement, that by running the first time in a ward, I became well known. I also got an opportunity to see what it's like to campaign in the rough, tough bowels of Chicago politics on the South Side of Chicago, in a ward that many people look to as a ward of great historical significance and political prowess. And so then I ran in, in '76 [1976] for the House [Illinois House of Representatives], unsuccessful. And of course '78 [1978], I did win.