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Charles Teamer, Sr.

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. was born on May 20, 1933 in Shelby, North Carolina to B.T. Teamer and Mary Teamer. He received his B.S. degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1954. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, and later received his M.A. degree from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Teamer worked in the office of the business manager at South Carolina State University in 1954. He then became assistant business manager at Tennessee State University in 1958; and, in 1962, Teamer was hired as business manager at Wiley College. In 1965, Teamer became vice president of finance at Dillard University and was promoted to chief financial officer in 1968. In 1983, he was appointed by Louisiana Governor David Treen as the first African American on the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. From 1985 to 1988, Teamer served as the national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. In 1993, Teamer co-founded the Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman. He later retired from Dillard University in 1997, and continued to work as a consultant to Clark Atlanta University. In 2001, Teamer led a partnership of investors in opening The Cotton Exchange and Holiday Inn Express Hotel in downtown New Orleans, and became president of the World Trade Center of New Orleans in 2003.

Former executive director of the Amistad Research Center and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, Teamer has held numerous board appointments on the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, the Ford Foundation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Common Fund, the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers, the Ochsner Medical Foundation and the Audubon Institute. Teamer also served as board chair for the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Metropolitan Area Committee, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the United Way. He was a member of the business and higher-education council for the University of New Orleans and served on the board of the Southern Education Foundation. Teamer was president of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers and vice president of fiscal affairs at Dillard University and Clark Atlanta University. He was a member of the board of supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and was on the board of administrators of Tulane University. Teamer was also the director of Entergy New Orleans.

Teamer was married for forty-seven years to the late Mary Dixon Teamer. They have three children: Charles, Jr., Roderic, Sr. and Cheryl. Teamer has six grandchildren.

Charles Teamer, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2008 and April 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2008.061

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/28/2008

3/28/2008 |and| 4/27/2019

Last Name

Teamer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Cleveland School

Tulane University

J.C. Price High School

University of Nebraska-Omaha

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Shelby

HM ID

TEA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Boule Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Golf Course

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

5/20/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. (1933 - ) served as chief financial officer at Dillard University for over thirty years and co-founded Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Wiley College

Dillard University

Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B.

Tennessee State University

South Carolina State College

Clark Atlanta University

World Trade Center

U.S. Army

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black and Gold

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Teamer, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his induction into the Masonry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the Cleveland County Training School in Shelby, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his early interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Joe Louis' boxing matches

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his early awareness of African American history

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers J.C. Price High School in Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the faculty of Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the influence of communism

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his teachers at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his U.S. Army service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes interstate travel during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls a sit-in at the Hotel Marshall in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Hobart S. Jarrett

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the influence of African American leaders

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the Mardi Gras krewe of Rex

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his introduction to corporate board service

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls serving on the Boy Scouts of America council

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls working at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls founding the Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his work for Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the impact of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his role as grand sire of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes for New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his work with the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his children

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana
Transcript
Fast forwarding back to New Orleans [Louisiana] as we talk about the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana] and where we're going, a part of the role that I see is that the p- the percentage of people in the community who are underserved still remain. They're unbanked. And especially as we talk about rebuilding the community, you've been here for several days now and you've driven through the city and you recognize that you can be in a--what we would call a pretty good neighborhood, you're on one street, it seems to be growing and prospering, you go on the next street it's like, is this the same neighborhood? The patterns are so unpredictable. Let me give you an example. As I told you my wife [Mary Dixon Teamer] passed away in 2004. The storm [Hurricane Katrina] occurred in 2005. I had not completed the succession of the estate when, when the storm occurred. If something had happened to me, my children would've been in a terrible problem because the estate would still be open and the question would be who actually owns the property. If you transform that to people who are less informed you find incident after incident where the title to the property is unclear. New Orleans is a very old city. Its traditions are very old, so you might have generations of people living in the same house and they do not know where the title is. In the 9th Ward [New Orleans, Louisiana], for example, I'm told, that there's home after home in which the mortgages had been paid, the people have been there for years, there was no flood insurance. So flood insurance is mandatory when you have a mortgage, well if you don't have a mortgage you have no flood insurance and obviously then you're not gonna have any wind in- wind storm insurance. So consequently, the problems of redeveloping these properties becomes even more severe. What we are doing looking for innovative ways to serve the people in our community to, to, to, to come up with new products, but maybe more than new products just to be available to work and talk with the people in our community on a one-to-one basis. While everybody wants to use the Internet and the computer, the challenge is that the people who really need the services probably are not computer savvy. So that means that the cost of doing business is a little more expensive for hands on, but that's the only way we're gonna do it. And so what we're trying to do is create a way to do what needs to be done in our community while at the same time being a profitable and viable institution.$Tell me about the Cotton Exchange [Historic Cotton Exchange, New Orleans, Louisiana] and the Holiday Inn Express, now you were--$$Happy to.$$Okay.$$When we developed the franchise, the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana], I learned from actually our congressman, [HistoryMaker] William Jefferson, that there were opportunities available for us in terms of purchase of buildings that had housed banks by the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation]. And through my relationships with people in the real estate business, I identified two or three properties of which this was one, this--that we would be interested in. One day somebody came and said to me, Charlie Teamer [HistoryMaker Charles Teamer, Sr.] there's some--there's a white group interested in your building, so to speak. So I decided that I would make an inquiry. I went to my bank, the bank that I was doing business with and talked with the people there and said I'm interested in purchasing the Cotton Exchange. No, I said I need a half million dollars. They in turn said, "What are you gonna do?" I said, "I'm gonna put a bid on the Cotton Exchange building." Because of my experience with them and having been a customer for a long time, they realized that the Cotton Exchange building was worth more than I was gonna pay for it. So they said, "We'll cover you." So I led a group of investors. We bought the building that we're in for considerably less than $500,000, eight story building, it was empty at the time. We purchased the building, moved the bank into the building, leased the first two floors to the bank for ninety-nine years, and decided that we would do something else with floors three through eight. We tried a number of things. We wanted to, to develop something like the Equal Opportunity [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] building in New York [New York], you know, where the United--where the Negro College Fund [United Negro College Fund] and Urban League [National Urban League] and all--but we weren't able to do that. So the first couple of years, three or four years, the third through the eighth floor was vacant. And then one day one of my acquaintances came in and said, you know, we are in the process of developing empty buildings, boutique hotels, and therefore, we'd like to develop a hotel in this building, floors three through eight. We created a partnership with three groups, our Cotton Exchange partners, one, which own this building to create a hotel. We sold floors one through two to our partnership, invested three through eight into a new partnership, bought the building next door and created a hotel, which we call the Cotton Exchange Hotel, it's a Holiday Inn franchise. So we are one-third owners of the hotel property that is next door. So therefore, we own these two floors and we're one-third owners of the building next door.$$Okay, okay.$$So we are substantial hoteliers in downtown New Orleans [Louisiana].

John Hooker

Senior vice president of Commonwealth Edison, John Timothy Hooker was born on November 25, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois. The son of Mississippi immigrants Arthur and Rosa Horton Hooker, Hooker grew up in Chicago’s Lawndale community located on the West Side. He attended Theodore Hertzel Elementary School, Hess Upper Grade Center and Farragut High School. At Hess Upper Grade Center, Hooker was inspired by civil rights activist Al Raby and teacher Warner Sanders. Graduating from Farragut High School in 1966, Hooker got married and was hired by Commonwealth Edison that same year.

Starting in the company mailroom at ComEd, Hooker learned as much as possible about the company. Hooker rose to clerk typist, to time keeper, to material clerk, and by 1974, he was promoted to human relations representative. Then in 1976, Hooker began working in the marketing department where he was promoted to director of marketing for Bolingbrook, Illinois and the western suburbs in 1984. In 1987, he became the ComEd liaison to the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and City Hall. Hooker went on to earn his B.S. degree from Chicago State University in 1990 and helped found the Exelon African American Members Association (EAAMA). Hooker served as area manager for ComEd in the western Chicago suburbs and director of external affairs. Later, in 1995, Hooker was named director of governmental affairs and influenced the passage of the Illinois Consumer Choice Law of 1997. Hooker was promoted to vice president of property management for Exelon Energy Delivery, and in 2000, he became an officer of the company. In 2004, Hooker was appointed senior vice president of Commonwealth Edison.

A 1994 participant in Leadership Greater Chicago, Hooker serves on several boards including: the Chicago State University Foundation, Peoples Consumer Cooperative, the Safer Foundation, Junior Achievement and the African American Initiative. Hooker is a member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. He is also a member of Chicago University’s Business Hall of Fame Committee and is involved in the Chicago Public School’s Youth Motivation program.

Hooker lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife, Kim. They have three adult children.

Hooker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.024

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/22/2008

Last Name

Hooker

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Chicago State University

Theodore Hertzel Elementary School

Hess Upper Grade Center

Roosevelt University

DePaul University

Farragut Career Academy Hs

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HOO05

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Frank Clark

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida

Favorite Quote

I'm A Strong-Willed Person So I Tend Not To Give In Or Give Up. I Basically Just Got To Give Out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/25/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Energy executive John Hooker (1948 - ) was a senior vice president of Commonwealth Edison. He also helped found the Exelon African American Members Association.

Employment

Commonwealth Edison

Jet magazine

Sears Roebuck & Company

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Earth Tones

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Stating of John Hooker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Hooker lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Hooker describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Hooker describes his mother's upbringing in Lexington, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Hooker describes his father's upbringing in Lexington, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Hooker talks about his parents' move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Hooker describes the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Hooker talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes his household in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Hooker remembers the gang activity in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Hooker talks about how he avoided gang involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Hooker remembers his paper route

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Hooker talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Hooker recalls his experiences at the Julius H. Hess Upper Grade Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Hooker recalls the movies and television of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Hooker remembers selling Jet magazine

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes his religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Hooker describes Farragut High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Hooker remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes the political figures in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - John Hooker talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Hooker remembers working at Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Hooker recalls his college aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Hooker remembers marrying his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Hooker talks about the African American executives of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Hooker recalls his recruitment to the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Hooker describes the discrimination against black employees at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Hooker recalls his start in the mailroom of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Hooker remembers working as a clerk typist at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Hooker recalls his promotion to timekeeper at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes his decision to enroll in night school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Hooker remembers his bachelor's degree program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Hooker recalls working as a material clerk for the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Hooker recalls his promotion to the human resources department of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Hooker remembers joining the marketing department of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Hooker talks about customer service at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Hooker describes the influence of his upbringing on his work at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes the quality of service at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Hooker recalls his role as a liaison to the City of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Hooker remembers working with the aldermen of the Chicago City Council

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Hooker recalls negotiating a franchise agreement with the City of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Hooker recalls working as an area manager for the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Hooker describes the Exelon African American Members Association

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Hooker recalls the founding of the Exelon African American Members Association

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Hooker describes the impact of the Exelon African American Members Association

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Hooker recalls becoming the director of external affairs for the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes the Leadership Greater Chicago program

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Hooker talks about his second and third marriages

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John Hooker describes his role in the deregulation of Illinois' utility markets

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Hooker talks about the regulation of the utilities industry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Hooker describes the aftermath of utility market deregulation in Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Hooker recalls becoming an officer of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Hooker describes his role as senior vice president at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Hooker reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Hooker describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Hooker reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John Hooker reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John Hooker talks about his children

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - John Hooker describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John Hooker narrates his photographs

Robert Lewis Harris

Lawyer, activist, and business executive Robert Lewis Harris was born to Lucy and Benjamin Harris on March 4, 1944, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. After moving to California in 1960, Harris, a 1961 graduate of Oakland Technical High School, received his A.A. degree from Merritt College in Oakland in 1963 and his B.A. degree from San Francisco State University in 1965 (in 2007 he was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame). Harris worked as a probation officer for four years before entering the University of California Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall). Shortly after Harris’s receipt of his J.D. degree in 1972, he joined the legal staff at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) where he spent thirty-four years as an attorney and business executive, retiring in January 2007.

In 1973, Harris became active with his local bar associations, serving in 1976 as President of the Charles Houston Bar Association (CHBA), an association of Black lawyers in Northern California. He made a name for himself in the legal community by leading a team of Black lawyers who successfully defended the NAACP against libel and slander charges in 1978. A year later, he made history by becoming the first lawyer from the West Coast to ever serve as President of the National Bar Association (NBA). A Founder of the California Association of Black Lawyers in 1977, Harris in 1982 served as a founding member of the board of the National Bar Institute, the funding component of the NBA. Later that year, he became the first President of the Wiley Manuel Law Foundation, the funding component of CHBA. In 1983, he became Chairman of the Legal Redress Committee of Oakland branch of the NAACP, and in 1986, he received the NAACP’s highest legal honor, the W. Robert Ming Award for his advocacy on behalf of the NAACP. Harris has also received the highest honors of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (Laurel Wreath Award) and the NBA (C. Francis Stradford Award).

In 1985, Harris argued and won a landmark corporate free speech case in the U.S. Supreme Court protecting PG&E’s First Amendment rights. In 1987, Harris married Glenda Newell, with whom he had two children. After completing the Harvard Business School’s Advance Management Program in 1988, he began his ascension through the corporate ranks at PG&E, first as Vice President of Community Relations and later as Vice President of Environmental Affairs. In the latter position, Harris expanded and led PG&E’s environmental stewardship endeavors to a new level. Harris has continued his involvement in community issues by serving in the highest ranking positions in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (Grand Polemarch) and in Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (the Boulé) as Grand Sire Archon-Elect; serving on the board of the Port of Oakland; being involved with the United Negro College Fund of the Bay Area; working with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (Co-Chair); working with the California League of Conservation Voters; working with the American Association of Blacks in Energy (General Counsel); being involved with the African American Experience Fund of the National Parks Foundation; serving on the U.S. EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council; working with the California EPA Environmental Justice Advisory Committee; serving on the National Environmental Policy Commission; and being involved with the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce, among many others.

Accession Number

A2007.195

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/6/2007

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lewis

Schools

Williams Elementary School

Peake High School

Oakland Technical High School

Merritt College

San Francisco State University

University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Harvard Business School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Arkadelphia

HM ID

HAR25

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

If You Have No Confidence In Self, You're Twice Defeated In The Race Of Life. With Confidence, You Have Won Before You Even Started.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/4/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ithaca

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Energy executive and civil rights lawyer Robert Lewis Harris (1944 - ) worked for the Pacific Gas & Electric Company for over three decades. Throughout his career in the legal profession, Harris was involved with a wide variety of free speech, environmental, and community advocacy issues.

Employment

Alameda County Probation Department

Pacifica Police Department

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:228,4:2204,43:8250,127:8730,133:13530,193:15690,232:37202,490:45098,617:52600,661:53496,666:61112,803:63224,841:65208,880:74380,893:74905,902:75430,910:82330,1039:98945,1191:104107,1262:115820,1381:116570,1393:117020,1401:120620,1436:130046,1552:131642,1570:131978,1575:142362,1656:143363,1693:143748,1699:187684,2222:189424,2254:191860,2296:194035,2331:194557,2345:199695,2409:199955,2414:200410,2426:200670,2431:205204,2477:205560,2482:206094,2489:208230,2503:211078,2545:211434,2550:229594,2798:231022,2833:234422,2907:242142,2980:242532,2986:246588,3067:250254,3146:250878,3155:258473,3215:267384,3319:267774,3325:272220,3414:277368,3505:277680,3510:277992,3515:278616,3525:290128,3676:293300,3722$0,0:7680,226:13760,343:14240,351:14560,356:15360,368:15760,374:16240,381:17280,399:17680,406:18000,411:18320,416:18720,422:29017,522:29462,528:29818,533:30619,549:32310,578:41160,665:46194,727:46604,733:47260,742:48244,758:48654,763:49228,771:50704,818:51114,824:52098,839:61810,997:62162,1002:66850,1052:68130,1073:68530,1079:69250,1089:75010,1200:81868,1283:82484,1291:87148,1432:88028,1445:96982,1530:97574,1540:99054,1562:100386,1603:100682,1608:103938,1667:104234,1672:107564,1738:110080,1808:115326,1838:116694,1851:117150,1856:117606,1861:124211,1923:125102,1945:125507,1951:126722,1989:128261,2019:136872,2116:139660,2160:151108,2318:155999,2419:157021,2444:157605,2455:158919,2502:162350,2579:164832,2627:182764,2865:185140,2920:185470,2926:185734,2931:186658,2954:187186,2963:193930,3044:195536,3073:196047,3081:201420,3154:202752,3180:203566,3192:204750,3214:205416,3225:207118,3255:208968,3297:209486,3305:210226,3317:212150,3352:213186,3373:214296,3391:218950,3412:224740,3453:228660,3496:229540,3521:231380,3550:237529,3616:238012,3625:239254,3650:240772,3685:241117,3691:246430,3817:248776,3866:249052,3871:249328,3876:249604,3881:250846,3909:251536,3920:252226,3932:259519,4019:259803,4024:260371,4034:260726,4040:261010,4045:261649,4057:262075,4064:262714,4074:271384,4227:272744,4253:277602,4300:278590,4324:279198,4335:280338,4361:281174,4373:282010,4400:283226,4429:286950,4490:303950,4707:304715,4717:306755,4755:307180,4761:314745,4864:319530,4947
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Lewis Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris lists his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers the Williams School in Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his father's start as a minister

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers the influence of his elementary school teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the community of Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about his father's churches in Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers Peake High School in Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls his teachers and classmates at Peake High School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his decision to move to California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers school integration in Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers his move to Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the student body of Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers enrolling in classes at Oakland Technical High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his experiences at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his experiences at Oakland Junior College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the demographics of Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers transferring to San Francisco State College in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his role as an officer of the Alameda County Probation Department

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the juvenile probation system in Alameda County, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his decision to attend law school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the culture of the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls his first year at the University of California Berkeley School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his experiences at the University of California Berkeley School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about his position on the California Law Review

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls his second year at the University of California Berkeley School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers his summer work experiences during law school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls joining the legal department of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers Frederick Searls and Richard Clarke

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls his first legal case at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his first legal case on corporate free speech

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the case of Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. Public Utilities Commission of California, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Lewis Harris describes Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. Public Utilities Commission of California, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers the decision of Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. Public Utilities Commission of California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about the energy crisis

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his legal work for the NAACP

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls how he was chosen to argue the case of Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. Public Utilities Commission of California

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the precedent set by Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. Public Utilities Commission of California

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about the Charles Houston Bar Association

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Lewis Harris describes the creation of the Charles Houston Bar Association Foundation, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers Benjamin Travis

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris remembers Earl B. Dickerson

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about his time management skills

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his role in the National Bar Association

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about the past presidents of the National Bar Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about the history of the National Bar Association

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his role in funding African American bar associations

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Lewis Harris reflects upon his leadership skills

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his concerns for African American organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls the history of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about W.E.B. Du Bois' involvement with the Boule

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris reflects upon the state of education in the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his transition to the operating division of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his role as the central division manager of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls the Oakland firestorm of 1991, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Lewis Harris recalls the Oakland firestorm of 1991, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about the contamination of the water supply in Hinkley, California

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his career at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about the blackouts of 2001 in California

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Lewis Harris talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Robert Lewis Harris describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Robert Lewis Harris describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Robert Lewis Harris reflects upon the importance of history

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
Robert Lewis Harris remembers enrolling in classes at Oakland Technical High School
Robert Lewis Harris remembers the decision of Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. Public Utilities Commission of California
Transcript
Was that difficult though, that being your senior year, I mean besides the--you know, 'cause it's all new. You--$$Yeah, it was quite different. I--you have to go to your counselor and get your classes. So I went to the counselor, a person I'll never forget as long as I live. Her name was Mrs. Hillegas, H-I-L-L-E-G-A-S [Miriam Hillegas], and saw all the courses that could be taken. And you had choices between college prep and non-college prep, what they call workshop and all that other stuff. And of course, having believed all along that I was bright and would go to college, so I signed up for all college prep courses and gave her the slip.$$And, and so that worked out--$$No.$$Okay.$$She properly denied it (laughter).$$So tell me what happened. Let's talk about--$$Well, she was very kind. She looked at it, and I recall she looked back up at me like I wonder what's his problem. And either I brought with me or had my transcript from my prior--or my grades. It was my grades from my eleventh grade, having been finished eleventh grade at Peake High School [Arkadelphia, Arkansas]. And I presented those to her, which was essentially an A minus average, and she sort of frowned and smiled at the same time, as though this poor kid doesn't know. And she said, "We can't enroll you in college prep courses." "You can't enroll me in college prep courses?" She said, "No. You wouldn't be able to compete because you're coming from this school," and, she was trying to be helpful, I guess, "in Arkansas, and the kids in college prep are very smart students, and you just wouldn't be able to keep up with them." And I did not believe that. I, I mean, I just couldn't believe it. It was the first time in my life anybody had ever told me that I could not compete educationally. I'd never heard that concept before. And of course, she was the first white teacher, or counselor, that I had ever seen face to face. So, that was disappointing obviously. And I went back home that evening and gave the news to my sister [Jean Harris Blacksher], who went berserk and insisted that the next day that her husband, Artis [Artis Blacksher], who is 6'5", at that time at least 250 plus [pounds], today a little bit larger, who was instructed by her to go with me back to school. And Artis was high school graduation, truck driver; he was a member of the Teamsters [International Brotherhood of Teamsters]. And he went back with me the next morning to school to see Mrs. Hillegas. And I will always remember that morning because he was not diplomatic. He just went in and started raving at her. And of course, it scared the hell out of her, and she just said any course he wants he gets, any course he want and just, you know, like get out of here. This man is crazy (laughter). And so she signed, and I was able to get all of my college prep courses. And then I went to those courses, which was odd to me. I'd never seen this before, coming from an integrated--a segregated school into my first class in an integrated school. It looked--I'd seen black students at school, and population was about 10 percent or so, so you seen them. But when I got in the class, I think in any class I didn't see more than one black student outside of myself, and I thought that was strange. But then it dawned on me, ultimately, wait a minute; those students probably went through the same thing that I went through that my brother-in-law just went berserk on, and they weren't into the college prep courses because of the belief that they could not compete. And so I, in, in, at Oakland Tech [Oakland Technical High School, Oakland, California] I was usually one or two, three at the most, of blacks students in any of those college prep courses.$So describe the experience and the result.$$The experience was great. It never dawned on me that I was gonna lose the case [Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. Public Utilities Commission of California, 1986]. I was convinced that I would win, and I was convinced--and some people say you were lucky; it was you were cocky, or whatever. I had done so much research on every single justice, how they think, what they wrote about the subject, and even before I argued the case, I had predicted who would vote for it and who would vote against it, who would be in my favor and who would not be in my favor. As the appellate, we had lost in California, so we had to go first, and so I went. The, if you look at the transcript, the first question asked of me was from Justice Rehnquist [William Rehnquist], who was not the chief justice at the time because Burger [Warren E. Burger] was. Rehnquist, with his bad back, leans up and say, "Mr. Harris [HistoryMaker Robert Lewis Harris], where did you get this notion that a corporation, like an individual, is entitled to negative First Amendment rights, the right not to speak? We know we've granted them the right to speak, but going so far as giving them right not to speak is, you know, somehow absurd." I smiled. I said, "I got it from Justice Powell [Lewis F. Powell, Jr.], of course," (laughter), and then went on to explain why. And Justice Powell is just sitting there grinning. I knew then he would write the, the, the opinion, and he did write the opinion. The, the, the other justices, with the exception of Marshall [Thurgood Marshall], was pretty much engaged in the--Marshall didn't ask a single question. But they were really engaged in it, the (unclear). As you look at the news articles, all you see is Associated Press said it was one of the most animated [U.S.] Supreme Court arguments in long time before the Supreme Court. I needed, in particular, Sandra Day O'Connor, who was the first woman on the Supreme Court and hadn't been there too long. I knew I needed her vote, and I became convinced I had it when my opponent came up to argue, said I'll go first; he came second. And when she started cross examining him and calling him by my name, I said ah, I must have made a hell of an impression. And I knew he was in trouble, and primary because of the questions that she was asking of him, and he couldn't really respond. So I figured I had her vote as well, so I--and I, and I knew I had Marshall and Brennan [William J. Brennan, Jr.] because of the way that I had argued the case and had set out the briefs, so that government--and, and this shocked a lot of people. A lot of the corporate lawyers and so called experts in constitutional law--you notice I said so called--they knew Brennan and Marshall, the two most liberal justices, would never vote for a corporation. They're, they're probably right if you framed it that way. But I framed the, the issue that they had to answer the question whether or not you were gonna allow government to pick and choose who can speak. Because the only way you can enforce this statute or this order, since the envelope is very tiny, and only so many voices can be heard, which means that the state has to decide who speaks this month, who speaks next month. And then I just, just had fun quoting Brennan and Marshall the case after case after case where they said government has no business picking and choosing who can speak. And the only way that you can rule in favor of the state in this instance is for the state to pick and choose who speaks (laughter). And that was absolutely correct. And, and, and that was what the fatal flaw that most constitutional lawyers didn't quite understand, that Brennan and Marshall were tied to that notion; they were consistent. They couldn't now say, "Well, if it's a corporation, the state can pick and choose." No, they have been consistent. They don't want government picking and choosing who can speak, and you shouldn't. And, and the other thing I said, you--, "If free speech is about free speech, you really shouldn't have to decide," and if you look in the transcript, you'll see this, "you have to look and see who's speaking to determine whether or not that speech is permissible." Speech is a permissible or it is not. So you don't need to look and say oh, that's John Jones speaking; oh no, that's a corporation speaking. You're gonna let John Jones speak but not the corporation. So anyway, they brought in a 5-4, 5-3 decision. Justice Blackmun [Harry Blackmun] recused himself apparently because he owned utilities stock, because when the case was called, he got up and walked out. The opinion was written by Justice Powell and concurred in by Marshall, Brennan, Sandra Day O'Connor, and the chief justice, not Rehnquist, of course, but Burger.$$Now how much time passed between your argument and the decision?$$It was October the 8th [1985]; the decision came out in February [1986].

Earle Bradford, Jr.

Corporate executive Earle Lacour Bradford, Jr. was born on April 25, 1946 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received his B.A. degree in accounting and economics in 1969 from Dillard University and continued his studies at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management where he received his M.B.A. degree in 1971 while enrolled as a Mobil Oil Fellow. He served as a visiting professor in the Department of Business and Economics at Norfolk State University under its Eminent Scholar Program

In 1971, Bradford’s professional career began with his first position as a senior accountant at Shell Oil Company. Bradford later became the youngest Vice President at Consolidated Aluminum. In 1983, he joined ARCO Metals Company in Rolling Meadows, Illinois as Vice President of Marketing Development and later became Vice President of Planning and Control. Transferring to ARCO Chemical, Bradford joined the Product Management and Marketing Division and was elected an officer of ARCO Chemical and served as Vice President of Public Affairs. He also served as the Vice President of National Accounts Management and Material Management in the Americas before serving as a worldwide Director of Continuous Improvement and Commercial Services. Bradford has held several positions with major international firms including a subsidiary of Alusuisse, the Swiss aluminum company. In 2002, Bradford became President of Axum Partners, Incorporated, which is a consulting company that specializes in corporate development. In 2005, he joined the Community Council for Mental Health and Mental Retardation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as its Chief Executive Officer. He led the organization back from a loss in 2004 to a surplus in 2005.

Bradford is a member and chair of the Board of Directors of Catholic Health East and a member of the board of the Development Credit Fund. He has also served on the boards of the Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Lincoln University. Bradford was also a member of the Petrochemical Committee of the National Petroleum Refiners Association. He has also received several awards including the Award for Excellence in Market Development from Sales and Marketing Management magazine. In 2006, Bradford received the Wilbur Parker Distinguished Alumni Award from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University.

Bradford resides in Villanova, Pennsylvania with his family.

Bradford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 20, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.185

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/20/2006

Last Name

Bradford

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School

Dillard University

George Washington Carver Junior High School

Johnson C. Lockett Elementary School

Medard H. Nelson Elementary School

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

First Name

Earle

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BRA07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

Get To The Bottom Line.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

4/25/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Energy executive Earle Bradford, Jr. (1946 - ) was CEO of the Community for Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Employment

Shell Oil Company

Johnson and Johnson Products

ARCO Chemical Co.

Consolidated Aluminum Corporation

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:17096,318:17556,324:23168,473:23536,478:24824,501:26204,524:29148,585:29792,591:42020,744:47595,808:48015,813:52005,936:52425,941:57255,1033:67720,1166:68240,1171:77753,1324:79232,1355:80972,1387:86060,1413:88964,1462:89404,1468:90284,1477:90988,1526:91516,1533:98814,1579:101930,1627:102258,1632:103898,1712:107424,1761:111660,1777:112908,1798:113532,1807:114546,1977:114858,1982:115872,1998:118056,2086:118602,2097:122190,2187:122502,2192:126320,2216:128438,2240:129656,2254:130961,2268:131744,2283:132614,2301:134876,2335:135833,2351:145616,2496:147044,2523:148388,2542:149060,2551:151244,2587:152588,2609:162888,2784:163220,2789:167370,2972:167702,2977:168532,2989:170441,3019:170856,3025:171188,3037:171935,3049:172599,3058:182563,3211:183274,3222:185486,3264:186039,3275:186592,3284:191253,3365:208371,3542:208955,3551:209466,3559:209977,3568:217810,3635:218426,3645:223500,3737$0,0:2812,67:3256,75:9550,160:9838,165:11710,208:11998,213:12862,239:14662,336:15454,352:31352,624:32240,635:37568,749:39788,803:40602,825:49794,978:50226,985:50946,994:51378,1002:65943,1197:67456,1217:70126,1273:82980,1436:98478,1605:101660,1703:102434,1713:115248,2007:123380,2065:128489,2142:136880,2311:137590,2324:141992,2450:142560,2459:148822,2526:149390,2535:151094,2595:159800,2738:164798,2812:171740,2851:172748,2866:173504,2877:173840,2882:182396,3048:182900,3057:183188,3069:185400,3099:185725,3107:186505,3123:186830,3129:187350,3137:201984,3339:202536,3346:208547,3383:209100,3393:214784,3447:215360,3456:216152,3466:218744,3516:222764,3546:223286,3553:223634,3558:224852,3571:225983,3586:233490,3681:238540,3762
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Earle Bradford, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earle Bradford, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 3

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Earle Bradford, Jr. lists his mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his parents' move to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers the 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about the reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about the culture of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers applying to college

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls his early aspirations to a career in business

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about his U.S. Army deferment

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about his experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Cornell University's Graduate School of Business and Public Administration

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about his marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Earle Bradford Jr. describes his experiences at Cornell University's Graduate School of Business and Public Administration

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls his decision to pursue a degree in business

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls joining the Shell Oil Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about the early affirmative action policies

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his career at the Shell Oil Company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls joining Johnson and Johnson Products

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls the dress code at Johnson and Johnson Products

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers his move to Niagara Falls, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls joining the Consolidated Aluminum Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls the National Urban League's executive exchange program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his career with the Consolidated Aluminum Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his early career at the ARCO Chemical Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about his mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers working with Harold A. Sorgenti

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his international career at the ARCO Chemical Company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Earle Bradford, Jr. recalls his interim directorship of The Barnes Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his role at the New Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his work for the Community Council for Mental Health and Mental Retardation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his plans for the Community Council for Mental Health and Mental Retardation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about his sons

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earle Bradford, Jr. reflects upon his life and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earle Bradford, Jr. shares the lessons he imparted to his sons

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earle Bradford, Jr. remembers integrating the Philadelphia Country Club

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Earle Bradford, Jr. describes the Philadelphia Country Club

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about his awards

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Earle Bradford, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Earle Bradford, Jr. talks about the Civil Rights Movement
Earle Bradford, Jr. describes his early career at the ARCO Chemical Company
Transcript
What was your attitude towards what was happening, let's say, like Freedom Summer in Mississippi in '68 [sic.]? Or, you know, when Chaney [James Chaney], when those three civil rights workers were killed? You were in school at the same time.$$I was in school at the same time. One of my best friends was one of the early CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] members, a guy named Dave Dennis. We, I mean, on that campus [of Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana], we were very aware of what was going on, and we had a very activist campus. H. Rap Brown [Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin] spoke periodically, but we, we also understood, you know, we had some other requirements that we wanted to get, get through.$$So were there any sit-ins at the university? Did you take over any buildings?$$We did not.$$Did they have a black studies department at Cornell [Cornell University, Ithaca, New York]?$$Oh, at Cornell? I went to Cornell the year after the Straight take over. I don't know if you recall. In 1969, Willard Straight Hall, which was a student union, black students took over the university--took over the student union. They were pictured on the front of Time magazine as, because they had guns. And one of the kids was a guy named Keith Ferdinand [Keith C. Ferdinand] who was from New Orleans [Louisiana] whose brother I knew and had gone to school with. We came there the year after that. So, the year afterwards, there were student protests. I think that cut short the second semester. And--$$They cut your second semester short?$$Yeah, because of the student protest, I think we ended up, it was, like, one week earlier. Things--so we, I don't think we had final exams. There was something that took place at that time. And, I was, I was also challenged because I was in the business school [Graduate School of Business and Public Administration, Cornell University; Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Ithaca, New York], and they had a very active Africana studies center [Africana Studies and Research Center], and Cornell was one of the first schools to have a black studies program. And so on occasion I'd be challenged, "Well, why don't you take courses at the Africana studies center?" And I remember, and because I was working at the university at the time, as a, in the financial aids office. And my reaction was, I want to know everything my competitor's gonna know. So while, you know, I'm not--I don't mean to denigrate what you do, but the reality is if I'm gonna be competitive in the business market, I've gotta learn as much as every one of my white colleagues is gonna learn. So, I appreciate your interest in my education, but, but I'll focus on the business school.$$So what was the result of them having that sit-in the year before? How did it end? Did they get what they wanted?$$Oh, I think (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) What did they want and what did they get in the end?$$Well, I think they wanted more support for African American students. I think that there, there was a specific program at the time called COSEP, C-O-S-E-P [Committee on Special Education Projects]. And part of my job at the time working for the university was to manage the distribution of financial aid. And a big portion of that was related to the COSEP program. And it was a tremendous effort on the part of the university to ensure diversity on campus, and they provided a lot of support mechanisms. And, and I think, I think it was a very successful program in that regard. So I don't remember exactly what the requirement was. The re- the, I think there was just a lot of, of energy on campuses at that time, both in terms of affirmative action as well as the war [Vietnam War].$So with that in your back pocket, I mean once you've achieved that sort of success--$$Um-hm.$$--I mean, you, you, you can go on to the next place? Or you, you stay there for a while?$$Well, you go on to the next place. You build on that success. I got re- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But you can only do that at the next place?$$Right. You can really only do it at the next place. I was not an aluminum person, so I was never going to ascend to the throne of being the top aluminum guy. I was a generalist who had good, reasonably good management skills, and could apply those to a number of situations. But, and some jobs, unless you had worked in a foundry, unless you had worked in a sheeting plate, plate plant, you wouldn't have the credentials, you wouldn't be accepted. So I ended up taking a job actually working for ARCO Metals [ARCO Metals Company]. And the only reason I took the job at ARCO Metals was because they indicated to me, this is really not a metals company, this is really a division, a metal division of a large petroleum company, so you have the opportunity to move into some other things. So I, I took that job, I went to ARCO Metals in Chicago [Illinois], basically des- in a position as a marketing VP. And I had my marketing, my marketing books so I could read the book and understand what I was supposed to do. But it was a program designed to acquire a number of businesses and to build a business around advanced materials.$$So you had to acquire other businesses--$$Yes.$$--to build a larger business?$$Correct.$$Okay.$$And I made the pitch along with the president of ARCO Metals, a guy name Bill Chamberlain [Willard Thomas "Bill" Chamberlain], to the executive committee of Atlantic Richfield [Atlantic Richfield Company], and we talked about a billion dollar investment. 'Cause you had to be at least a billion dollars for it to be meaningful to an oil co- oil company. And we did that in December, and I think by the end of March, ARCO had decide the price of crude oil, rather than going from twenty-nine to thirty dollars a barrel, was actually going to decline to as low as eighteen dollars a barrel. So they divested, or made the decision to divest any of the businesses that weren't cash positive. And so I'm, very quickly moved from a guy who was about to buy businesses to one who was now going to sell businesses.$$(Laughter) Liquidate 'em, yeah.$$Liquidating and actually ultimately shutting down ARCO Metals. So I ended up being responsible for the sale of American Brass [American Brass Company], which was the largest brass company in the country at the time, about 560 (unclear) $5 million in sales. And Wisconsin Centrifugal [Waukesha, Wisconsin], which I was the chairman of the board of that before selling it, and that was about a $65 million business. So I did that, then basically ARCO Metals was shut down, I moved to ARCO Chemical [ARCO Chemical Company] in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] in the mid-'80s [1980s], and then did a number of things at ARCO Chemical.$$And what are some of the highlights at ARCO Chemical?$$Well, I guess I was the first African American officer, I became--I ran a--I was responsible for Europe and Asia for a plastics business, then moved to public affairs. Became the VP of public affairs, did that for a while. It was a newly public company, so I had a more, much more, much more public stance. I ended up becoming vice president of national accounts, responsible for about 40 percent of the company's sales, did that for a while. Became vice president of purchasing and supply, as well as had responsibility for transportation services and customer service. I did that for a while, and then I became, then I had worldwide continuous improvement.

Richard Holmes

Richard Lewis Holmes, Georgia Power’s senior vice president of Corporate Services and Employee and Corporate Relations, was born in Columbus, Georgia on October 17, 1951 to Janice George Holmes and Carl J. Holmes. He attended integrated public schools in several southern cities including Clarksville, Tennessee and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and attended high school in Columbus, Georgia. From there, he enrolled at Columbus State University, graduating with his B.A. degree in business administration. He also earned his M.B.A. from Atlanta University and a certificate from the Program for Management Development at Harvard University.

While still attending college in 1972, Holmes began working summers at Georgia Power. After graduating in 1974, he was hired in the accounting department and worked over the next twenty-eight years in several capacities for Georgia Power; customer service, regional management, corporate relations manager, assistant to the CEO, vice president of Region Operations, and as vice president of corporate services. Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. Holmes also served as assistant to the late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson.

Holmes serves as a board member of the Georgia Department of Community Health, the Kennesaw State University Foundation and Literacy Action. He also belongs to many organizations including One Hundred Black Men of Atlanta, Harvard Club of Atlanta, and the National Eagle Leadership Institute. In 1999, the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Holmes as one of the Most Influential Atlantans.

Holmes married, Linda McCrary, and they have two sons, Stephen and Mark.

Accession Number

A2005.206

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/26/2005

Last Name

Holmes

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Spencer High School

Columbus State University

Clark Atlanta University

Harvard Business School

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

HOL05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Face Reality As It Is,Not As It Was, Or As You Wish It Were.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/17/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Energy executive Richard Holmes (1951 - ) works for the Georgia Power Company.

Employment

Georgia Power Company

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:4950,120:5925,139:6525,148:7350,160:10125,199:11325,217:12075,228:15525,335:17400,383:20100,453:21825,480:22125,494:22725,504:25650,597:27675,636:27975,641:37904,685:38642,697:39216,705:43070,769:43398,774:44874,790:45448,799:46022,807:46842,815:47170,820:47826,832:48482,841:50942,877:51352,886:54140,958:55616,1004:68200,1121:69676,1154:72792,1246:76482,1347:77056,1355:78040,1368:89011,1603:89287,1608:92944,1686:93289,1692:94048,1711:95221,1736:95773,1745:96394,1800:107040,1852:108696,1881:109416,1899:110568,1944:116472,2057:117696,2082:118272,2091:127216,2180:129200,2219:139860,2421:140516,2430:142730,2471:143140,2477:143714,2485:148088,2505:150842,2580:151814,2597:152138,2602:152705,2612:154730,2649:155378,2658:156755,2687:157322,2696:157646,2701:158375,2716:158780,2722:163727,2758:164153,2765:165857,2807:168555,2879:168981,2887:169265,2892:174590,2992:174874,2997:180165,3053:188697,3263:189566,3276:190119,3284:191146,3309:197804,3389:200284,3401:200816,3410:202412,3422:202792,3453:203400,3462:206730,3512$0,0:1015,14:8185,187:8695,194:9630,210:14050,309:18895,401:20595,431:24930,511:25270,516:29350,589:30370,606:30710,615:40660,664:41290,674:43320,733:43740,740:44510,763:46050,793:46960,816:47590,829:49130,868:49690,877:50250,887:50670,895:51020,901:54520,984:54940,991:55710,1011:56060,1025:58370,1073:59000,1083:66006,1125:66580,1135:69204,1175:69860,1184:71784,1195:72328,1204:72736,1212:73076,1218:73756,1231:74028,1237:74436,1244:75660,1281:76000,1287:77630,1296
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richard Holmes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Richard Holmes lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richard Holmes describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richard Holmes describes his mother's childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richard Holmes describes his mother's childhood in Early County, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richard Holmes describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richard Holmes describes his father's experiences playing baseball

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richard Holmes describes his father's experiences in the U.S. military

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Richard Holmes describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Richard Holmes describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richard Holmes describes moving and changing schools while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richard Holmes describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richard Holmes describes his various schools

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richard Holmes describes his school experiences and favorite teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Richard Holmes recalls playing Little League baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Richard Holmes describes his high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Richard Holmes recalls attending Columbus College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Richard Holmes describes his fraternity and student government activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Richard Holmes describes his favorite professors

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Richard Holmes recalls his job interviews after college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richard Holmes recalls the beginning of his career at Georgia Power Company

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richard Holmes details his promotions at Georgia Power Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richard Holmes describes his mentor, Jim George

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richard Holmes recalls African American managers at Georgia Power Company

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Richard Holmes recalls the impact of a co-worker's suicide

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Richard Holmes describes moving back to Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Richard Holmes describes Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Richard Holmes recalls working with Maynard Jackson, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Richard Holmes recalls working with Maynard Jackson, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richard Holmes describes Atlanta Mayors Maynard Jackson and HistoryMaker Andrew Young

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richard Holmes recalls working as director of Atlanta's Corporate Volunteer Program

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richard Holmes shares an anecdote about Rich's department store in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richard Holmes recalls his experiences at Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Richard Holmes recalls moving to Cobb County, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Richard Holmes recalls being Cobb County Chamber of Commerce chairman

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Richard Holmes describes Newt Gingrich

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Richard Holmes recalls his promotion to region vice president

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Richard Holmes outlines his corporate responsibilities

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Richard Holmes describes his board memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Richard Holmes shares his future aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Richard Holmes describes assistance programs offered by Georgia Power Company

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Richard Holmes describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Richard Holmes reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Richard Holmes reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Richard Holmes reflects upon the importance of preserving history

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Richard Holmes describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

8$9

DATitle
Richard Holmes recalls working with Maynard Jackson, pt. 1
Richard Holmes describes his favorite professors
Transcript
And so the business community wanted to try to get back on his good side, so a lot of the business communities went out there and tried to help him through his transition providing a lot of pro bono assistance to his transition team and getting his administration set up. So Maynard [Maynard Jackson] being a very, very wise and cagy person basically said, "Hmm, I'm getting all of this, everybody is crowning me with all of these assistance during my transition period which is only gonna be about two months, you know, November and January." He said, "I'm gonna try to figure out a way to use that during my administration on a pro bono basis." So I came in to run what the mayor called, the mayor's Corporate Volunteer Program. Where he'd bring volunteers in to help city government with its various issues, help them from a business perspective, how to create a better level of response to its citizens, how to create better processes and the things that it do, permitting and all those kinds of things. And, actually, we looked at several projects. But I came in to run that program, and after I had been here about a month, month-and-a-half, there was a conference in Atlanta [Georgia] called BEEP [Black Executive Exchange Program], which was the Urban League [National Urban League] conference. And the mayor couldn't go speak, his special assistant to business community couldn't go speak, so they said, "Well, we got Richard [HistoryMaker Richard Holmes] here, let's let him go represent the city." So, I went and brought greetings on behalf of the mayor, and they got a good feedback from that. So the mayor sort of liked me. And then about--just about a couple of weeks later, the mayor's special assistant to the business community got promoted to another job and the mayor at that time could not--because the mayor created this position. It was a lobbyist position with the state government. In sense, the mayor moved this individual over in that job; he did not have any more authorized positions. So he now had a vacancy as his special assistant to the business community, and he had no authorized vacancy so they said, "Well, Richard is on loan from Georgia Power [Georgia Power Company], he's over here, we like what he's done, we like him, why don't you let him be your special assistant, mayor, and still run this program?" So, Maynard did, he allowed me to become his assistant for the business community. So I was able to do that for about sixteen months as Maynard's special assistant in the business community. And if you want to know what that was, it was just being his liaison. If he had to go speak to a business setting, I would, obviously, find out what they wanted to speak about, give that information to the speech writers, speech writers will get a speech together. I will go with him to those functions, make sure his got his speech, make sure where he's supposed to sit, make sure he met some key folks. I was his gofer, if you will, in that regard and I was on loan from my company, Georgia Power Company. I wasn't a city employee.$$More like the shepherd, I think, than the gofer (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) As a shepherd, is that the way to look at it?$$Yeah, you are kind of a shepherd.$$But it was fascinating, because here I am on the mayor's staff and I don't work for the city. I don't get a paycheck from the city. In fact, in my office I didn't even have a city computer. I had a computer from Georgia Power (laughter) that I used, I mean.$Are there any professors [at Columbus College; Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia] that stand out particularly as influential?$$The one that didn't necessarily influence me but always stood out was a professor by the name Dr. Gallous [ph.], and he taught--he was in the fine arts area and he taught music and every business major had to take some fine arts course, one or two, and so I took music and Dr. Gallous was the instructor. Now, what I remember from him is that he was saying, "All music is well thought out and well--when I say is done, is well thought out. But it's creativity, it's your own imagination, it's the visualizing what you think something should be in terms of how it should sound." And I used to always remember that from him because what that does is the roles that I've had in life and the jobs that I've had is always got to be thinking about new ways of doing things, got always be a little visionary and stay ahead, and you have to always be better than the next. And those are the things I remember so well. I remember we had a marketing professor, and I'm drawing a blank on his name that always would challenge us, you gotta be thinking about what somebody else is doing because, you know, you're only as good as your, you know, your worst customer.

Cordell Reed

Energy expert Cordell Reed was born on March 26, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois to Carrie Bell and Clevon Reed. He grew up in a south side housing project and moved on to a remarkable career in Chicago's corporate and civic communities.

Earning a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1960, Reed became the third African American with that degree from UIUC. He went to work for Illinois electric company Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). He worked his way up through the ranks and became an executive in 1975, acting as a public spokesman for nuclear power as well as a department manager. Reed was promoted to senior vice president, serving in three separate departments. In 1994, he became ComEd's ethics officer and the chief diversity officer in addition to maintaining responsibility for purchasing materials for the corporation's 10 fossil fuel-fired energy-generating plants. Reed represented ComEd in a 1995 trade mission to South Africa before retiring in 1997.

The Black Engineer of the Year Awards honored Reed with a "Lifetime Achievement" award in 1988 and the American Nuclear Society bestowed the Tommy Thompson Award on him in 1993. He has also been active in corporate America, serving on the board of directors for LaSalle Bank, the Walgreen Company, Underwriters Laboratories and Washington Group International. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, the National Technical Association and the Urban Financial Service Association as well as a fellow of the American Nuclear Society. Other civic organizations that have benefited from his leadership include the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the Illinois Academic Decathlon Association, Cal-Met Village Senior Citizen Housing, the Development Fund for Black Students and the Metropolitan Family Services Advisory Board. Reed and his wife Bernice have five adult children: Derrick, Brian, Steven, Michael and Barry.

Reed passed away on December 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2002.106

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/2/2002

Last Name

Reed

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Cordell

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

REE01

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

LINK

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida

Favorite Quote

God Is Good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/26/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Death Date

12/4/2017

Short Description

Energy executive Cordell Reed (1938 - 2017) was the former senior vice president and nuclear power public spokesman of Commonwealth Edison, serving in three separate departments. Reed also represented ComEd in a 1995 trade mission to South Africa.

Employment

ComEd

Com Ed

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
202,0:6767,72:9090,100:12423,132:16362,174:19847,190:20757,204:21121,209:23396,241:25762,258:28128,281:29129,290:32132,334:41076,419:47550,475:54442,550:63820,629:75032,751:77120,778:82088,874:108590,1216:109198,1226:112618,1284:119990,1404:127490,1444:128170,1454:146987,1751:154164,1833:154662,1840:163709,1973:193340,2243:220760,2502$0,0:7200,43:9115,57:9540,63:13263,85:14406,96:18820,127:21821,165:22558,177:24650,201:25325,211:34400,359:35975,387:37250,406:37775,414:47186,512:47897,527:49003,545:49398,551:50109,561:51057,576:51610,584:52321,596:52716,602:53269,610:56710,628:57815,641:60280,676:60620,681:63680,724:64275,731:64785,742:83722,948:84496,958:85528,973:89856,997:90226,1003:90892,1015:97150,1096:97750,1105:99210,1121:108330,1189:112650,1244:113154,1252:123788,1376:145100,1578:160439,1770:161231,1781:167570,1843:172710,1908:173160,1914:173610,1920:177239,1952:177491,1957:181200,1991:187770,2048:188314,2058:193644,2120:215132,2382:215502,2389:216464,2406:219625,2419:225052,2482:225556,2490:229502,2528:235036,2588:235616,2601:244730,2659:248609,2692:249413,2707:250217,2721:250619,2728:251088,2736:251825,2748:256404,2786:256908,2795:257916,2807:259092,2828:261082,2837:261366,2842:261650,2847:262147,2856:262857,2868:263283,2876:263922,2887:268910,2950
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Cordell Reed's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Cordell Reed lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cordell Reed describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cordell Reed describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cordell Reed describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cordell Reed describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cordell Reed describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cordell Reed describes growing up in the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cordell Reed describes the sights and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Cordell Reed describes the smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Cordell Reed recalls taking family trips as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Cordell Reed describes growing up with his older brother

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Cordell Reed talks about the elementary school teachers that influenced him

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Cordell Reed talks about attempts made to cure his childhood asthma

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cordell Reed talks about having asthma as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cordell Reed describes the times of his asthma attacks

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cordell Reed describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cordell Reed describes his childhood interests and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cordell Reed describes how he learned of Tilden Technical High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cordell Reed talks about his high school friends

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cordell Reed describes attending Tilden Technical High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Cordell Reed describes how Tilden Technical High School changed over time

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Cordell Reed describes why he attended Metropolitan Community Church as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Cordell Reed describes the role of Metropolitan Community Church in his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Cordell Reed describes his contributions to Metropolitan Community Church

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Cordell Reed describes Metropolitan Community Church

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Cordell Reed describes his motivation to attend college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cordell Reed describes attending the University of Illinois-Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cordell Reed describes what shaped his work ethic

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cordell Reed describes what motivated him to study engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cordell Reed describes how he was hired to work for Commonwealth Edison in 1960

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cordell Reed describes his first year working for Commonwealth Edison

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cordell Reed talks about how he lived in two worlds throughout his career

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cordell Reed talks about the first black engineers to work for Commonwealth Edison

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cordell Reed describes his experiences working as a black engineer for Commonwealth Edison during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cordell Reed considers why his white colleagues supported him during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Cordell Reed describes how his technical engineering work prepared him for his corporate career, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Cordell Reed describes how his technical engineering work prepared him for his corporate career, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cordell Reed talks about being a spokesperson during the developmental years of the nuclear power industry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cordell Reed describes how Commonwealth Edison became involved in the nuclear power industry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cordell Reed compares nuclear power to alternate energy sources

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cordell Reed describes how the nuclear power industry lost its credibility

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cordell Reed describes how nuclear waste is disposed

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cordell Reed comments on the safety of nuclear power

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Cordell Reed talks about the viability of nuclear power

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Cordell Reed describes how being involved in the controversy surrounding nuclear power shaped his corporate success

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Cordell Reed describes what leads to success in the field of nuclear engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Cordell Reed describes his growth at Commonwealth Edison in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Cordell Reed describes how he became Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer of Commonwealth Edison

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Cordell Reed reflects upon his corporate success

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Cordell Reed comments on the challenges of upward mobility in Corporate America

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Cordell Reed describes how the oil embargo of 1974 affected the electric and nuclear energy industries

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Cordell Reed describes how Commonwealth Edison's criteria for selecting leaders has evolved from the 1960s to the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Cordell Reed describes how his race shaped his success at Commonwealth Edison

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Cordell Reed describes what he learned as Chief Diversity Officer at Commonwealth Edison

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Cordell Reed talks about his civic involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Cordell Reed talks about serving on corporate boards of directors

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Cordell Reed describes how his community ties prevented him from moving to the suburbs

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Cordell Reed describes the programs and services offered by Metropolitan Community Church

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Cordell Reed talks about the significance of his black identity

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Cordell Reed shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Cordell Reed shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Cordell Reed comments on the contemporary challenges for blacks in Corporate America

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Cordell Reed shares his concerns for the future of the power industry

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Cordell Reed comments on corporate responsibility

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Cordell Reed talks about his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Cordell Reed comments on his decision to retire as Vice President of Commonwealth Edison in 1997

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Cordell Reed talks about embracing life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Cordell Reed narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$11

DATitle
Cordell Reed talks about how he lived in two worlds throughout his career
Cordell Reed describes how he became Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer of Commonwealth Edison
Transcript
Just about everywhere I had been throughout my whole company career, 37 years, I was the only black person, and that's not good. I think I was able to succeed because I was such an unusual person, I was just different. Everyone knew I was there. It's not that way now. I think being so dark, and when I opened up my mouth I speak English, I would take people unexpectedly. They would I think magnify my thoughts, because there was this real dark guy who could actually talk. And I think my talking... I was learning how to mimic, because I've always lived in two worlds. And I'm so happy now that I've maintained the two worlds. I'd lived my whole life in a ten mile circle. Around Provident Hospital, I lived my entire life. I drove sixty miles one way each day for three and a half years. And I wouldn't move to Morris, Illinois with my children because of my church [Metropolitan Community Church] and because of my friends. And I would learn how to talk white, but if you hear my father [Clevon Reed, Sr.] talk, you know, it's not "shrimps" it's "swimps." It's not "advertising," it's "admatising." And I've never, ever, ever had to ask my mother [Carrie Bell Reed] or father "What do you mean?" People at church, you know, I never have to ask them what they mean because I was very, very well-versed with the language. On the other hand, when I'm out on the other side, I talk like they talk. So it has, it has, I've had these two worlds. I'd have fantastic friends who are white in the company, but I always maintained the black community and my church. And even my biggest dilemma today is I say, "Well I would like to live in Orlando [Florida] for four or five months, or Las Vegas [Nevada]." And we keep looking at these places, and it all gets back to I don't want to leave my church. We're going out Friday night with two couples from church. It's a good thing. If I had moved to Winnetka or Naperville, Glenview... or it would have been logical... Downers Grove... during my career where it would have been logical and assimilated there in retirement, where the church and the friendships are even more important to me than when I worked with the simple people of character--people who don't brag about how great they are, people who don't... where money is not a big deal--I would have missed that. I would have missed seeing these kids grow into adults and becoming leaders of the church, and my greatest joy is from that. So, I'm so happy I lived in two worlds.$But then in '79' [1979], I became the vice president and chief nuclear officer. And that meant that everyone who operated our plants and maintained our plants--the engineering departments, all of the technical support departments, the PhD's, the nuclear fuel management--all reported to me. After Three Mile Island, they wanted one corporate officer in the company to have the overall responsibility for nuclear power in that company that they can bear--bring to bear operations or engineering. There was one person who was responsible. The chief executive officer of the company wasn't; the chief nuclear officer was. And that was the chief nuclear officer of a company with thirteen nuclear units. And no one in the United States had that breadth of commitment. And as I look back, it seems exciting. At the time, it was a normal progression. I attended all of the corporate board meetings, I reported directly to the chairman and chief executive officer of the company. My office was right next to his office. Although I had a third of the company's people reported in my area, six thousand people, I had a budget of $1.5 billion. And we were kind of draining... all of the money was going into nuclear... constructing these new nuclear plants. And it was the, it was the major effort and the major issue. And so, I no longer felt that I was a token. I felt that my performance dictated how the company would do.$$So you... wait a minute. So, you went from assistant vice... I mean station nuclear engineer, then you came downtown. Do you remember the whole decision when you got--did you apply for the position, or were you recruited, or were you tapped? I'm just--$$I was tapped. I remember being in the control room at Dresden, and I got a call from a guy named Nick Curshaw. And he says, "How would you like to come downtown and work in the engineering department?" After driving sixty miles each day, one way, I said, "You just tell me when." And I was tapped, that was tapped. I went down there and worked for him. Before he retired, he ended up working for me. Again, not a bad thing, that I was greater than him. It was just how life goes. And he was the same to me when I reported to him as when he reported to me. He never changed. I mean he didn't have me in awe when he reported to me, and he was a good guy. It became apparent to me, I think, that when I came downtown and after being there six months they put me in charge of this new nuclear power plant. And there was no way of saying it--that was a major responsibility. And again, you know you can call it dumb luck or chance. But the people who moved... someone died... how in just four years I was in charge of the entire nuclear engineering department. It just, it happened. I think, I think I was being guided. But I think at that time that the company had made up their mind that I wasn't the black engineer, I was, I was an up and comer.