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Dr. James Comer

Dr. James P. Comer, founder and chairman of the School Development Program at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, was born on September 25, 1934, in East Chicago, Indiana. After earning his A.B. degree from Indiana University, Comer went on to earn his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine in 1960, and his M.P.H. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1964.

After completing his M.P.H., Comer completed his training at the Yale School of Medicine, the Yale Child Study Center, and the Hillcrest Children’s Center in Washington, D.C. Comer was also enlisted in the military, completing his service in 1968 at the rank of Surgeon, Lt. Colonel, in the United States Public Health Service.

After 1976, Comer became the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine; in this role, he developed the Comer Process, which was a system of education that focused on child development in inner-city schools. Comer's process has been utilized in more than six hundred schools in eighty-two school districts across twenty-six states. In 1968, Comer founded the Comer School Development Program to promote the usage of his process in schools across the nation; to achieve this aim, an emphasis was placed on collaboration between parents, teachers, and the surrounding community to improve the lives of young students and, in turn, their prospects for succeeding on the path to higher education.

In addition to lecturing and consulting widely across the United States at colleges and universities, medical schools, scientific associations, and public school districts, Comer lectured, observed, and discussed child care, school conditions, and reform around the world, in places such as London, Paris, Tokyo, Dakar, Senegal, and Sydney.

A prolific writer, Comer has authored ten books, including: Beyond Black and White (1972); Black Child Care (with Dr. Alvin Poussaint, 1975); Raising Black Children (1992); School Power: Implications of an Intervention Project (1980); and most recently, Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s World (2004). Between 1978 and 1994, Comer wrote more than one hundred and fifty articles for Parent’s Magazine and more than three hundred syndicated articles on children’s health and development and race relations.

Accession Number

A2004.132

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/18/2004

Last Name

Comer

Marital Status

Married

Schools

George Washington Elem School

Washington High School

Indiana University

Howard University College of Medicine

University of Michigan

Yale University

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

East Chicago

HM ID

COM02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Keep On Keepin' On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

9/25/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Short Description

Child psychiatry professor and child psychiatrist Dr. James Comer (1934 - ) was the developer of the Comer Process, a system of education that focused on child development in inner-city schools. Comer also founded the Comer School Development Program to promote the usage of his process in schools across the nation. In addition to his work in research and program development, Comer served as the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine for over thirty years.

Employment

United States Public Health Service

Yale University School of Medicine

Corner School Development Program

Favorite Color

Gold

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. James Comer's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer talks about his mother's childhood in Woodland, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer shares a story about his father's toughness

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer talks about the influence of Zion Baptist Church in East Chicago, Indiana on his family and in his life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. James Comer recalls the influence of spirituals in his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. James Comer remembers his childhood Sunday mornings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. James Comer recalls members of the church community at Zion Baptist Church in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. James Comer talks about his current church attendance

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer describes his childhood neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer recalls successful neighbors from him childhood in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer recalls the racially mixed community of his childhood in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer recalls how his parents met and married

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer recalls the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer recalls learning about gender equality by playing football with a childhood playmate

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer recalls learning a lesson about child psychology while attending Easter Sunday service at Zion Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer recalls an encounter with a racist neighbor after a childhood birthday party

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. James Comer recalls two of his teachers at George Washington Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. James Comer describes the demographics of George Washington Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dr. James Comer explains his aspiration to be a doctor

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dr. James Comer lists his favorite school subjects

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer recalls his experience at Washington Junior High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer recalls supportive teachers and a discriminatory one at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer lists favorite and least favorite subjects studied at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer lists the extracurricular activities he participated in at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer talks about his social circles throughout his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer lists his favorite sports

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer recalls overcoming his initial self-doubt at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer explains how his experiences at Indiana University led him to focus on the psychological dimensions of race and poverty

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer talks about being a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer explains his decision to attend Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. James Comer describes his experience at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dr. James Comer recalls his limited involvement with the Civil Rights Movement during his college years

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Dr. James Comer reflects upon the experience of school integration

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Dr. James Comer recalls the positive influence and support he received while attending Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer lists his professors he at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer explains why he changed his focus from medicine to psychiatry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer recalls how his volunteer work with Hospitality House in Washington, D.C. led to his interest in public health

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer talks about his study of public health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer notes the duration of his residency at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer explains how he came to head the School Development Program for the Yale Child Study Center in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer recalls his time at the Hillcrest Children's Center in Washington, D.C. from 1967 through 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer talks about developing the Comer School Development Program from his experience with public schools in New Haven, Connecticut, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer talks about developing the Comer School Development Program from his experience with public schools in New Haven, Connecticut, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer explains three of the components of the Comer School Development Program

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer describes the elements and guidelines of the Comer School Development Program

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer talks about successes attained by schools adopting the Comer School Development Program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer talks about the assessing school improvement for schools using the Comer School Development Program

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer talks about the lack of teacher training and preparation in child development

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer talks about the obstacles that impede recognizing the importance of child development in the educational system

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer talks about the breakdown in community support that occurred after World War II in U.S. society

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer describes the impetus for his book 'Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today's Youth for Tomorrow's World'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer talks about his book 'Maggie's American Dream: The Life and Times of a Black Family,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer talks about his book 'Maggie's American Dream: The Life and Times of a Black Family,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer talks about his book 'Waiting for a Miracle: Why Schools Can't Solve Our Problems--and How We Can'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer describes how he wants to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

3$8

DATitle
Dr. James Comer recalls how his volunteer work with Hospitality House in Washington, D.C. led to his interest in public health
Dr. James Comer talks about developing the Comer School Development Program from his experience with public schools in New Haven, Connecticut, pt. 1
Transcript
I remember on one occasion in this Hospitality House [Washington, D.C.], I was a volunteer sitting reading with the kids, and these kids were bright as anybody and yet, you know, they're in trouble. I remember on one occasion the, it was Easter season, one kid was crying in the corner, quietly, and it turns out that he had been told by his teacher that, "If you can't bring a dime back for the Easter egg hunt, then you should not come back yourself." That got to me. His mother couldn't help him because she literally did not have the dime. I gave him the dime, he went back to school, but I said, what is going on in the schools? You know, why would you do that to a kid? And that made me, began to realize, that these kids were in trouble. I remember sitting reading to them and they were bright, able, good kids and then going around the corner and there were these day-labor camps almost, or places where men lined up to get jobs and here are these big, able black men all lined up yelling, for, it was a scene out of slavery, you know, where the, the employer or his agent was standing on the back of a truck and he's picking, this one and that one and the other one, you know, and these guys, with their shirts off, it looked like slaves and I said, these kids are going to be in that same lineup in just a few years unless they get an education and the schools not serving them. So, that led me to raise the question, why aren't our institutions serving our kids well and where do you learn more about that? That led me to the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan [Ann Arbor, Michigan]. I wasn't sure public health would serve me well but I needed more time and it was also an opportunity to get some more training that I could use at home if I wanted to practice but also explore the question of why the institutions aren't working the way they should. And I remember Paul [B.] Cornely, who was another one of my professors at Howard [University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.].$$Would you spell the last name?$$C-O-R-N-E-R-L-Y [sic.].$$Thank you.$$Yeah, C-O-R-N-E-L-Y, I think, Cornely. I remember him saying once that the improvement of medicine was due more to the work at public health than any physician, than all the physicians put together, he said. And I think I resented that as a future physician at the time but it did occur to me that prevention was needed in this situation because you could never, on a one-to-one basis, help all of these kids and that something had to be done with the institutions.$Would you tell us now about the flourishing and the growth and development of what is known as the Comer Process and your [Comer] School Development Program? Would you kind of lay that out for us?$$Yeah.$$And tell us where it is today, 2004.$$Yeah, I made a, I made an error. The two years of [U.S.] military service came right after my internship [at St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, Indiana]. Then I did the two years training in, then I went to School of Public Health [University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan], two years training in adult psychiatry and a year training in child psychiatry at Yale [School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut]. Then I went to the Hillcrest Children's Center [Hillcrest Children and Family Center, Washington, D.C.] for a year and then I was recruited back to Yale to run the School [Development] Program [Yale University Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut], and that's when we went into the schools [Simeon Baldwin Elementary School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, New Haven, Connecticut] that were thirty-second, thirty-third in achievement out of thirty-three schools. They were chaotic, they were the worst in the system. And I remember in that chaos, and kids can't learn in this environment, and I knew that environment was important based on development, based, what I knew about child development and based on what I knew from my own personal experience and so we set out to try and change the environment. Now I say, it makes it sound like we deliberately did that, we knew what to do. We were really trying to survive because the parents wanted to throw us out of there. It was so chaotic and it was chaotic because nobody know what to do, and also everybody was trying to exploit the situation, some to do good, some to do bad, some to run for office and some, and so all of the adult interests were at play and the child's, and the children's needs were being ignored. They were using the traditional method of teaching and with the understanding, and the traditional understanding, that the children with the best brains will get it and those, the others, you know, too bad, they won't get it, and they're not able and, you know, they'll go to steel mills and somewhere but there weren't any steel mills left. So they're going to go on a downhill course because they can't get the education needed to get a job and take care of family, take care of themselves and they're going to transmit to the next generation the problems that they had. So we had to interrupt the cycle in some ways and yet what we were really thinking about, how do you survive here? So what we did was to create a governance and management team that was made up of parents, teachers, administrators, all the adult stakeholders in school. We had to keep it small enough so that, you know, we could work and so it had to be representative and we created other components as we realized it was necessary. For example, what does the governance and management team do? Well you need to have a comprehensive school plan and that's what I realized, schools didn't have any plan, at least the poor plans, poor schools. People just came in and they taught and, taught what they were told, and they didn't expect the kids to get it anyway and there was no plan. There was no direction. And so we realized that not only did you need an academic plan, you needed a social plan. How do you make this a good place? And what kind of activities do you have? And so we created a comprehensive school plan that was both academic and social and there were subcommittees to deal with various parts of that but the governance and management team representative of all the adults had the authority in the school and that's what was missing before and you had, now it could direct activities and create activities as needed so that the comprehensive school plan, people worked on that and that gave them a sense of direction, you know.

Geraldine D. Brownlee

Geraldine Brownlee has spent most of her life as an educator. Born in East Chicago, Indiana, Brownlee’s father was a skilled worker for Inland Steel and both her mother and her stepmother were homemakers. Brownlee attended West Virginia State College, where she graduated cum laude in 1947 with degrees in biology and Spanish. Brownlee earned an M.S.T. in urban education from the University of Chicago in 1967, and completed her Ph.D. there in 1975. She also spent time at both the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan graduate schools of social work.

In 1947, Brownlee took a job with the Cook County Department of Public Welfare, where she worked as a caseworker from 1948 until 1955 when she began a career in teaching. She taught elementary school for eleven years in the Chicago public schools. From 1967 until 1970, Brownlee worked with the University of Chicago graduate school of education as a staff associate, becoming assistant director of teacher training in 1970. The following year, Brownlee was made an assistant professor and assistant dean of student services in the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) College of Education. During 1975-1976, Brownlee served as director of Title VII desegregation projects for Illinois School District 163. She continued as an assistant professor with UIC until her retirement in 1990, teaching curriculum and instruction within the school of education to both undergraduate and graduate students. During that time, she worked as a visiting professor to Indiana University Northwest and was active evaluating programs within the Chicago public school system. In 1995, Brownlee became a consultant to the Center for Urban Education at DePaul University in Chicago, where she remained for a year.

Brownlee has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career. She has also been active both in professional and civic organizations. Some of her honors include the 1990 YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Outstanding Achievement Award in the field of education; selection as a member of the Chicago Presbyterian Delegation to Cuba in 1998; and election as a commissioner to the 2000 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America. She has served on the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Board of Directors, the Chicago Urban League Education Advisory Committee and Links, Inc. Brownlee and her husband Brady live in Chicago.

Accession Number

A2003.302

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/17/2003

Last Name

Brownlee

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Daniels

Occupation
Schools

Benjamin Franklin Elem School

East Chicago Central High Sch

West Virginia State University

University of Michigan

University of Chicago

First Name

Geraldine

Birth City, State, Country

East Chicago

HM ID

BRO17

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Will send VITAE to Crystal. She's an Elder in Presbyterian Church - lc; Charles Branham

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Georgia

Favorite Quote

The Truth Of The Matter Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/13/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Education professor Geraldine D. Brownlee (1925 - ) has taught for many years at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Employment

Cook County Department of Public Welfare

Chicago Public Schools

University of Chicago

University of Illinois, Chicago

Illinois School District 163

Indiana University Northwest

Center for Urban Education at DePaul University

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Geraldine D. Brownlee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her stepmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls her birth mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes the culture of reading in her household as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers her neighborhood growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes herself as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Geraldine D. Brownlee lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about a racist experience at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls her favorite subjects at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about encountering racism at George Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains how discrimination kept her from entering the National Honor Society

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains how she decided to attend West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her experience at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her extracurricular activities at West Virginia State College, Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her studies at West Virginia State College, Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls President John W. Davis at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her interest in the Quakers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes the speaker series at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers learning about black history in her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the impact of World War II on West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains how she entered the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for special training in administering to the blind

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about encountering racism in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers declining a job with the W.C. Handy Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls her experience as a social worker in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her early teaching experience

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains her motivation for pursuing graduate studies in education

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her philosophy of curriculum development

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Geraldine D. Brownlee discusses the challenges facing contemporary education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the work of HistoryMaker Dr. James Comer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee philosophizes about leadership

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her dissertation research on teacher leadership

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee details her work with various community and social organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her work as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about black studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her work as principal evaluator for the Chicago Public School system

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her work as a director of a desegregation program

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the importance of setting expectations in education

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains the lack of pro-union sentiment in her family

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee considers what she would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers her mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the challenges of implementing affirmative action effectively

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Geraldine D. Brownlee narrates her photographs pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Geraldine D. Brownlee narrates her photographs pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her experience at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia
Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her work as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Transcript
Okay. What was West Virginia State like? I mean, who were some of the teachers and personalities that you met there?$$Well, West Virginia State College [West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia] is a--on its sign it says, a liberal education, and I always knew from my mother that that was the best kind of education one could get. And when I went there, the dean of the college was Dr. Harrison Ferrell, who was from Chicago [Illinois] and had finished his doctorate at Northwestern [University, Evanston, Illinois]. And he greeted me right away, because you had to send in your picture with your application. And when I walked into the administration building, he said, "Hi, Gerri [HM Geraldine D. Brownlee]," the first day when I registered. And my psychology teacher was Dr. Herman Canady, who had received his doctorate at Northwestern. And I really have never regretted that decision. My whole life changed. I just felt as if I were just liberated from all of the racism, whether it was subtle or not, that I could go--belong to any organization I wanted to belong to. I wasn't afraid of failing, because I knew I had the ability to learn. And then it would put me in contact with my own people, because I was very limited in East Chicago [Indiana] in knowing people, black people--we were colored then--except for church and the limited number who went to school with me, 'cause there were only twenty-six in my graduation class out of over three hundred blacks. And so it was--I was very impressed with the faculty. I was impressed with the students. I didn't like the dorm. I thought the dorms were crummy. But it just made a different person out of me in my life.$$Were there a lot of restrictions on students at West Virginia, West Virginia State at that point (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, yeah. Yes. In those days you couldn't get in a car. One could not leave campus without written permission from your parents. We had to be in the dorm at certain hours of night. You know, yes. There were a lot of restrictions. But I didn't mind that because I had restrictions at home. And then we--as we learned, we could do everything we wanted to do within a certain--anyway, within a certain time.$$(Laughter) Once you figured out the system.$$That's right.$$That's right.$$But then, I also didn't know, until I got to West Virginia State, and Dr. Canady gave everyone--now that I look back on it, it may have been the Stanford Binet test [Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales]; it was an I.Q. test, and then told us, you know, who did well and who did this. And I was the highest one in the class, and it was a very high I.Q. And he said--told them that. And I was so pleased, because I knew I had a good I.Q., but I didn't know how high it was or how good it was, because they never told me in high school. So with Dean--Dr. Canady and Dr. Ferrell, I could take as many--you know, how a load could be, like, sixteen hours? I was permitted to take twenty, twenty-two, twenty-four. You know, I could--they gave me a lot of privileges, because they said I could do it. And that's how I got the double major, 'cause with a double major, one has to have a double minor, which means you have to have certain courses in two dif- four areas. I had to do it.$Okay. Well, speaking of professing, you've been a professor at University of Illinois of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] for a number of years. Right? And you're now professor emeritus. Right, or--?$$From the University of Illinois.$$Yeah.$$Um-hm.$$University of Illinois at Chicago.$$At Chicago.$$Yeah. Right.$$Um-hm.$$Right. Okay.$$That was an experience.$$Okay.$$That was truly an experience (laughter).$$Well, I can, you know, I see a balloon above your head, but you got to fill in the blanks. Now, what happened at the University of Illinois at Chicago?$$Well, because it is a large institution. And to leave a college like West Virginia State [College; West Virginia University, Institute, West Virginia] and to go to a university like the University of Chicago, where there are small populations and to go into a public urban university, where there are thousands and thousands of faculty and student is quite a challenge--students. It's quite a challenge. And it was an eyeopener because I went there because I've always been committed to urban education. And I got there and found that they were still searching for their urban mission. And it was very difficult because there's such a mix there of Hispanics, blacks, Indians, and whites of different origins. And there are very relatively speaking, very few tenured black faculty, which puts the burden on those of us who are tenured to meet the needs of the black students, and I--which even though there may not be more than 15 percent, to meet their needs. Because if one is there, one is likely to come to a person who is of, you know, of the same origin. And it was very, very difficult for white faculty to understand the demands made on black faculty in terms of publications and research and funding, when we have these other issues that have to do with race and our students. That was one eyeopener for, you know, for me. The fact that it's a revolving door for black professors was another issue. As a matter of fact, the chancellor asked me to serve as a--to chair his committee on the status of blacks at UIC, which I did for a couple of years before I left, and it was most challenging. I don't--but, I did get in to know a couple of other black faculties from what we call the other campus, the west campus, the medical science campus, who were most supportive, for example, [HM] Dr. [Maurice F.] Rabb, I don't know whether you know him.$$Maurice Rabb?$$Maur- that's how I got to know him. When I was president he was very, very supportive. There were other faculties I would not have gotten to know if I had not had that post. But it was--it also was at the expense of getting my own work done. I was not given off--you know, time off to do this. But that's, that's what happens to us when we are in certain positions. We have to take on certain responsibilities, because--not only because we're needed, but because we have a commitment to do so.$$Okay.$$So it was--there were--I guess I've touched on the primary problems, trying to serve and support minority students while doing what professors are expected to do was a real problem.

Napoleon Brandford, III

The oldest of three children, Napoleon Brandford III was born in East Chicago, Indiana, on February 23, 1952. After graduating from high school in 1970, Brandford briefly attended the University of Nevada at Reno before moving closer to home, completing his B.A. at Purdue University in 1974. Returning west, Brandford attended the University of Southern California where he earned an M.P.A. in 1978.

After completing his graduate work, Brandford became an assistant finance director in the Dade County Finance Department, where he remained until 1982. That year he joined Shearson Lehman Brothers, Inc., as the vice president of public finance in the San Francisco office. In 1985, Brandford partnered with Calvin Grigsby to form Grigsby Brandford & Co., which became one of the nation's premier investment banking firms. While there, Ebony named Brandford one of its Young Tycoons in 1988. In 1997, Brandford and another partner from Grigsby Brandford & Co., Suzanne Shank, joined with Muriel Siebert to form Siebert Brandford Shank, Inc. Today, it is one of the largest female- and minority-owned investment banking firms in the world, with Brandford serving as chairman.

Brandford holds the distinction of being named the youngest African American partner on Wall Street, and he is active with a number of organizations. He serves on the boards of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Finance and Investment Committee, the Western Region of the Boy Scouts of America and the Los Angeles American Heart Association. Brandford is also active in the National Forum of Black Public Administrators and the National Association of Security Professionals. Brandford and his wife, Sharon, live in California.

Accession Number

A2003.167

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/24/2003

Last Name

Brandford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Carrie Gosch Elementary School

East Chicago Roosevelt High School

University of Nevada, Reno

First Name

Napoleon

Birth City, State, Country

East Chicago

HM ID

BRA04

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Board of the California Healthcare Foundation; Andrea Rogers (assistant)

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

French Riviera

Favorite Quote

Never Pass Up The Opportunity To Keep Your Mouth Shut.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

2/23/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

USA

Favorite Food

French Food, Foie Gras

Short Description

Investment executive Napoleon Brandford, III (1952 - ) co-founded Grigsby Brandford & Co., which became one of the nation's premier investment banking firms. In 1997, Brandford and two partners formed Siebert Brandford Shank, Inc., one of the largest female and minority owned investment banking firms in the world, with Brandford serving as chairman. Brandford holds the distinction of being named the youngest African American partner on Wall Street.

Employment

Dade County Finance Department

Lehman Brothers

Grigsby Brandford & Co.

Siebert Brandford Shank

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:20290,324:44889,673:50853,805:73244,1203:74036,1219:86278,1363:98460,1512:99280,1524:99608,1529:100018,1544:104118,1625:127674,2051:143942,2345:160025,2534:160285,2539:165720,2617:174800,2769:225955,3459:227720,3495$0,0:1774,4:2512,17:5464,67:6776,85:34612,510:63930,968:79190,1219:89850,1395:110185,1704:110915,1714:116964,1768:120260,1780
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Napoleon Brandford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Napoleon Brandford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his parents' background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Napoleon Brandford describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his childhood neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Napoleon Brandford shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Napoleon Brandford describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Napoleon Brandford describes his love of baseball as a young boy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his family's involvement in the A.M.E. Zion church

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Napoleon Brandford describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Napoleon Brandford describes his elementary school years and his teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his childhood interest in American history

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Napoleon Brandford describes his childhood community

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Napoleon Brandford talks about how Loyola's NCAA Championship in 1963 inspired him to become a basketball player

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the influence of Cazzie Russell

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his basketball career at East Chicago Roosevelt High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his basketball coach, Hank Zawacki

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Napoleon Brandford describes race relations in East Chicago, Indiana during the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Napoleon Brandford talks about playing sports in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Napoleon Brandford describes winning the 1970 Indiana Boys State Basketball title

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Napoleon Brandford describes being recruited by the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada to play basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Napoleon Brandford talks about a summer job at the Union Carbide Corporation and the steel mill culture of East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his mentors as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Napoleon Brandford talks about playing basketball at the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Napoleon Brandford describes his appreciation for the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his studies and political activism at the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Napoleon Brandford describes the consequences of his political activism at the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Napoleon Brandford explains why he gave up his dream of professional basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Napoleon Brandford talks about how his grandmother inspired his dedication to his studies

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his law school studies and his political aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Napoleon Brandford describes meeting C. Delores Tucker

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the Dade County Managers Program

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his wife, Sharon Brandford

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Napoleon Brandford talks about working in city government under mentor Bill Erickson in the finance department

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Napoleon Brandford talks about lessons he learned in Dade County and his interest in the finance sector

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Napoleon Brandford talks about working at Shearson/American Express

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Napoleon Brandford describes how he learned investment banking

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Napoleon Brandford talks about seeking advice from the network of African Americans in California

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Napoleon Brandford talks about minority firms in the 1980s including his own, Grigsby Brandford

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Napoleon Brandford talks about Mayor Harold Washington and Albert "Al" Johnson's support of the minority investment banking community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Napoleon Brandford talks about bond deals in the City of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his business strategy and mayoral supporters of black business

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the rise and decline of minority investment banking firms

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the National Association of Securities Professionals and Travers Bell

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his firm's growth strategy and the top tier minority firms

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Napoleon Brandford talks about winning a

504 million L.A. Convention Center deal against competitor Goldman Sachs

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the municipal bond arena and investing in the infrastructure of his firm

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Napoleon Brandford reflects upon highlights from his investment banking career

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Napoleon Brandford talks about working with municipalities and the growth under Mayor Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his partner's indictment and forming a new firm, Siebert Brandford Shank

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the downturn in the African American securities industry

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Napoleon Brandford describes his passion for public finance

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Napoleon Brandford talks about politics in financing

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his firm's focus and ranking

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the future of his firm, Siebert Brandford Shank

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the investment banking industry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his book, "Hoosiers, Too: The Road Warriors"

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the importance of an education for athletes

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his role on the NCAA Leadership Advisory Board

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Napoleon Brandford describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Napoleon Brandford talks about the importance of African American history

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Napoleon Brandford talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Napoleon Brandford talks about his mother and grandfather

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Napoleon Brandford narrates his photographs, pt.1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Napoleon Brandford narrates his photographs, pt.2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

11$5

DATitle
Napoleon Brandford talks about lessons he learned in Dade County and his interest in the finance sector
Napoleon Brandford talks about Mayor Harold Washington and Albert "Al" Johnson's support of the minority investment banking community
Transcript
So what are some of the things you learned?$$The first thing [Dick] Montalbano told me was really interesting. I never forgot these things either, he said, "First of all working in government don't expect anybody to pat you on the back until you do a good job. Two, don't sign your name to anything other than your check. Three, if I want your opinion I'll give it to you." So I never forgot those things. And so that was my introduction into government. And then I learned from him, he was trying to focus on finance not taking into consideration the political things where the county--the deputy county manager was a gentleman name Dewey Knight and he ran the human resources and the welfare section of the [Dade] County government. And so this hospital is not producing that much called Lutheran Medical Center and Montalbano wanted to shut it down to save money. And so he sent me down as a sacrificial lamb to Dewey Knight. And Dewey Knight became one of my mentors and one of my friends, but he just devastated me with his comments. See I'm a young kid trying to figure out this is really the thing to do and he said, boy, don't you know what white folks have been trying to do for black folks all these years and yadi, yadi, yadi, ya, had me in tears. And people couldn't believe that he had done that to me. But it taught me a very good lesson that whatever Montalbano tell me to do, I'd do the opposite. And so I lived by that philosophy. I would never do that again.$$So when you--are you learning at this point, I mean, what kind of deals are you working?$$I'm working on bond deals. See this intern program, this guy from Springfield, Illinois, his name is Reed, I can't think of his first name, maybe Mike Reed (ph.), but anyway he said, Napoleon, you get out of this intern program what you want, you can skate through and get a good job or you can do exactly what you want to do and get out as much as you wanted to, and so I did exactly that. They give me assignments I wouldn't do those assignments, I would do exactly what I wanted to do 'cause I was trying to get to the finance department 'cause I understood these bond deals was--I didn't know what a bond deal was, I thought it was like most people, I thought it was either bail bondsman or a performance bond, I didn't know there was securities. I learned that at school. So it was strictly on-the-job training. But there was this tax revolt at the time in Dade County, and make a long story short, the tax revolt was to cut taxes by 99 and a half percent and 43 percent of the people who had voted to wipe out government. I said wow this a scary thing. California didn't do this. I come to Florida so this is obviously not a growth employment sector so I need to get out of this. And so--and I need to get out of Florida and to get back to California, so how do you do that. And so I met a gentleman, I met several gentlemen, but I met an African American that was the highest ranking black at E.F. Hutton, he was an investment banker.$$What was his name?$$T. M. Alexander, Jr. And T.M. sort of took me under his wing. And I sit down and talked to him about what was it like to be an investment banker and he start telling me he said, "man, I just got a $70,000 bonus last year." I said you got what, he said, "I got a $70,000 bonus." He said, "I'm making you know close to half a million dollars." I said I want to do what you do. And so I began to try to work in finance and get out of this-$And what are you thinking your client base is going to be, are you concentrating you know among the--$$At Grigsby [Brandford]?$$--Yes.$$Oh, I thought my client base was going to be the African American community. And so the African American community and the you know--the Los Angeles [California] thing encouraged it, but the real champion for African American investment banking community was [Mayor] Harold Washington. And so it was back during that time a friend of mine was working--this young lady was working for Harold Washington as deputy comptroller named Jane Thompson. And Jane, I said, Jane, I really want to get business in Chicago [Illinois], she said well, there's a meeting tonight, I need to introduce you to this gentleman [Albert "Al" Johnson]. And said you probably heard of him. I'd heard of him, but I never met him. He said-'cause I used to listen to Operation PUSH on the radio all the time when it was sponsored by Al Johnson Cadillac, Johnson Products, Grove Fence Orange Juice, he was one of the top black business people in America. And so I came down to, somewhere on the South Side of Chicago, not too far from here, to a meeting of the Political Action Committee of Illinois, and there was Al and Bill Barry and so on and so forth. So I met up Al and he sort of took me under his wing. And shortly thereafter he came to San Francisco [California] and we were having dinner and we were talking about my birthday was coming up real soon. And then I pulled up and he said, "when is your birthday?" and I says it's February 23rd. He forced me to take out my driver's license 'cause his birthday was February 23rd. And so out of that, among other things, we became real good friends. He adopted me as affectionately known as Al Johnson, Jr.

Wendell Campbell

Wendell Campbell was born on April 27, 1927 in East Chicago, Indiana. Three months after he graduated from high school as a National Honor Society scholar, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Campbell eventually received his B.A. in Architecture and City Planning at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he was offered a full-tuition scholarship from Commonwealth Edison, in 1957.

He worked as an architect from 1956 until 1966, when he became president of Campbell & Mascai architectural/urban planning company. In 1966, he became the CEO of Wendell Campbell Associates, Inc., which has since changed its name to Campbell Tiu Campbell to reflect the contributions of partners Domingo Tiu and Campbell's daughter Susan. Noted projects for the firm include: the DuSable Museum of African American History, the McCormick Place Expansion, King Drive Gateway, redevelopment plans for the City of New Orleans and the new Bronzeville Military Academy.

Campbell was a founder and the first president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), founded in 1971. He served on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Chapter of NOMA, the Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, the Black Ensemble Theater, the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Chicago Architectural Assistance Center, and the South Side YMCA. He was also a member of the City of Chicago Capital Improvement Advisory Council and the City of Chicago Committee on Standards and Tests.

Campbell was dedicated to improving the quality of affordable housing in metropolitan centers through the design of "Smart Homes," housing that brings 21st century technology to the varied needs of today's urban families.

Campbell married June Crusor Campbell in 1954. They lived in Chicago and had two daughters, Susan Campbell Smith and Leslie Campbell.

Campbell passed away on July 16, 2008 at age 81.

Wendell Campbell - Short

Unidentified/AMC - 144 words

Wendell Campbell was born on April 27, 1927, in East Chicago, Indiana. Campbell received his B.A. in architecture and city planning at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1957. In 1966, he became the CEO of Wendell Campbell Associates, which since changed its name to Campbell Tiu Campbell to reflect the contributions of partners Domingo Tiu and Campbell's daughter, Susan. Campbell was a founder and the first president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), founded in 1971. He has served on various boards of directors and has had numerous professional and civic affiliations. Campbell is dedicated to improving the quality of affordable housing in metropolitan centers through the design of "smart homes," housing that brings twenty-first-century technology to the varied needs of today's urban families. Campbell married June Crusor Campbell in 1954. They have two daughters, Susan Campbell Smith and Leslie Campbell.

Accession Number

A2002.146

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/14/2002 |and| 8/21/2002

Last Name

Campbell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Abraham Lincoln Elementary Sch

Benjamin Franklin Elem School

Illinois Institute of Technology

First Name

Wendell

Birth City, State, Country

East Chicago

HM ID

CAM04

Favorite Season

None

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

South America

Favorite Quote

You're as good as you want to be and nothing is impossible if you want it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/27/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Macaroni, Cheese

Death Date

7/16/2008

Short Description

Architect Wendell Campbell (1927 - 2008 ) was the founder of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Employment

Campbell & Mascai Architectural/Urban Planning Company

Wendell Campbell Associates, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:6640,190:21550,356:22782,371:44910,804:61648,1034:88604,1344:91841,1461:92422,1470:105360,1631:127204,1898:133310,1977$0,0:6056,109:7136,126:11024,173:30332,365:44786,495:45114,500:48148,561:55271,646:55999,655:64095,746:71400,831:84299,982:84714,988:87121,1038:89860,1082:95760,1139:96240,1146:111748,1304:119583,1383:131010,1498:131410,1505:131810,1511:132450,1522:158392,1867:159624,1892:160768,1939:161560,1951:166592,1988:166958,1995:184848,2213:185472,2222:191244,2330:192492,2349:192882,2355:197559,2366:207500,2490:215490,2623:217570,2651:220210,2706:221010,2724:226302,2761:226717,2767:244960,3020:245860,3035:246460,3045:250210,3120:250960,3133:253060,3185:260230,3259:267193,3329:271456,3390:274800,3406:275160,3412:277104,3450:277824,3462:283300,3507:285040,3514:289250,3536:295940,3637
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wendell Campbell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wendell Campbell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wendell Campbell talks about his mother, Selma Campbell

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wendell Campbell talks about his grandmother's rooming house in East Indiana, Chicago

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wendell Campbell talks about his great-great grandmother, who was President Howard Taft's cook

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wendell Campbell describes his father, Herman Campbell

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wendell Campbell talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wendell Campbell talks about his parents' siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wendell Campbell talks about his grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Wendell Campbell talks about his first experience with racial discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Wendell Campbell talks about picketing a theater in East Chicago, Indiana to protest unlawful discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Wendell Campbell describes his experience of segregation in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wendell Campbell talks about teaching woodshop classes as a high school student

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wendell Campbell talks about his first job at an architecture firm

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wendell Campbell talks about working on urban renewal in East Chicago, Indiana and the start of his business, Wendell Campbell Associates

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wendell Campbell describes influential elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wendell Campbell describes how he realized the need for black urban planners during his freshman year at the Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wendell Campbell talks about World War II as a means of advancement for African Americans

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wendell Campbell about membership restrictions in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) that affected his ability to win contracts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wendell Campbell talks about his design of St. Mark A.M.E. Zion Church in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Wendell Campbell talks about a negative experience with a church that was reversed

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Wendell Campbell talks about how he met his wife, June Campbell

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Wendell Campbell talks about his daughters and grandchildren

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wendell Campbell narrates his photographs

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wendell Campbell's architectural work, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wendell Campbell's architectural work, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wendell Campbell's architectural work, pt.3

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wendell Campbell's photographs

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wendell Campbell talks about his career and his company, Campbell Tiu Campbell

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wendell Campbell describes the influence of Mies van der Rohe and Ludwig Hilberseimer on his design concept

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wendell Campbell describes his design of a building for senior citizens in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wendell Campbell talks about protesting racial discrimination

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wendell Campbell talks about his work on city and government projects

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wendell Campbell talks about construction bonds and problem solving

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Wendell Campbell talks about his daughter, Susan Campbell, who became vice president of Campbell Tiu Campbell

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Wendell Campbell talks about his high rate of client referrals

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wendell Campbell talks about his work for the City of Chicago including Farragut High School, the Public Building Commission, King Drive Gateway, and McCormick Place

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wendell Campbell talks about working with Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wendell Campbell describes his work in Gary, Indiana with Mayor Richard G. Hatcher

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wendell Campbell talks about his business philosophy and building schools in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wendell Campbell talks about his role in the creation and leadership of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wendell Campbell talks about well-known African American architects like Marshall Purnell, Paul Devrouax, Harold Williams, Paul Williams, and HistoryMaker John Chase

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wendell Campbell talks about integrating technological advances at his firm

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wendell Campbell talks about the Smart Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Wendell Campbell talks about placing computers in Smart Homes

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wendell Campbell talks about creating jobs in the community through Smart Homes

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wendell Campbell describes adapting Smart Homes for multi-family use

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wendell Campbell talks about duplicating the Smart Homes model

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wendell Campbell about the adaptability of Smart Homes

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wendell Campbell talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wendell Campbell talks about a current project

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Wendell Campbell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Wendell Campbell shares his dreams for the next generation of architects

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Wendell Campbell talks about his wife, June Campbell

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Wendell Campbell describes how he met his wife, June Campbell

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DATitle
Wendell Campbell talks about working on urban renewal in East Chicago, Indiana and the start of his business, Wendell Campbell Associates
Wendell Campbell describes the influence of Mies van der Rohe and Ludwig Hilberseimer on his design concept
Transcript
And when I graduated from IIT [Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois], I got a call from my father [Herman Campbell] back in East Chicago [Indiana] and his property that was a house that we grew up in was in the middle of urban renewal area that they were talking about clearing and they had asked my father to come in and to talk about them purchasing his house. And he didn't understand a lot of the terminology and he knew I was majoring in planning as well as architectural, would I come out there and talk to them. And I did and I either asked the right questions or the wrong questions 'cause the next day they called me and offered me a job at the foundation [Purdue Calumet Development Foundation] working with them with urban renewal. And I accepted and I took that job for ten years where I drew up urban renewal plans for the area and one of the things, again coming back from my youth, I inserted in there people--a phrase in the urban renewal plan--the people that were being displaced for urban renewal action, had the right to get back on their own property and all they had to do was just match the minimum price that was appraised and they could get it. And so then I would talk people into going in and come in with a bid on the thing and I would work in the evenings and help them develop plan to coincided that would be acceptable. And they would do this and finally the--my boss told me one day, you feel so strong about that you should get on the other side of the table and open up your own office. And that's what I did, that's how I formed Wendell Campbell Associates in 1966. And the first job that I received was from my former bosses who paid me in one month but they had paid me before in a year (laughter) and so the firm started with three people, myself and my boss' secretary and another gentlemen who's still with me and has now about thirty, thirty people. And we do all kinds of architectural projects across the world.$What was it like being instructed by or working with [Ludwig] Mies van der Rohe?$$Mies van der Rohe was very busy at the time that I was there in developing his own private practice. And there was a gentleman that came over from the Bauhaus school with him as one of the professors and that was [Ludwig] Hilberseimer and he was the planner of the three, there was three, Hilberseimer, Mocassin (ph) and Mies van der Rohe and all of them came over right immediately following World War II. And they were the instruments which created the Illinois Institute of Technology Architectural Department. He was--Mies would concentrate with mostly the graduate students, Hilberseimer concentrated with the whole school and I spent quite bit of my time working under him.$$Your, your, your designs have that clean and un-cluttered look. They are always in style, really very classy.$$Oh thank you.$$All your buildings are. I mean I noticed that in the booklet here--I guess some of that comes from your instructors, but a lot of it comes from your taste, your concept. Talk to us about your design concept.$$I actually--as one the things, two things that I learned from IIT, one was Mies would always say, less is more and the other is that the most things that--the best thing you can get out of going to a college department and degree is the ability how to learn how to think, how to approach a problem, how to solve it and carry it through to a reasonable solution. And I'm very proud of the fact that I think that I was more impressed his ability to teach you how to think then me to try to imitate Mies. We had a lot of the students that would go around try to walk like him and talk like him and dress like him. I said I wasn't interested in being a little Mies. I wanted to be the best that I could be as an individual. So a lot of times most of the problem that I had were problems that confronted me or confronted the community which I was practicing in and how to make that a better community. And I always felt that the combination of both architecture and sociology that people didn't necessary buy houses, but they selected communities in which to live. They had to have good schools, had a good shopping area, you had to be able to have adequate transportation and all of these were part of the basic thing, the house was just one basic unit in an entire environment and my thing was trying to deal with the whole environment which included the house as the nucleus.$$And that whole concept, the wholeness concept gives you more control 'cause you can think about the next--so it's easier--doesn't it get easier to develop if you're thinking project wise? Even though you might have two buildings for the first phase, but if you know how all these things are going to fit into each other. You did something like that for [Purdue Calumet Development] Foundation didn't you?$$Yes, very much. Actually what I did when I was at the Foundation is go out and surveyed large tracks of land blocks, visited almost all the houses in that block, going from the basement all the way up through to the attic to really get a feel of that house and determine whether or not the house could be conserved, rehabilitated or should be demolished and a new structure in its place, all the time dealing with people who occupied those houses. And after I left the Foundation, I of course, concentrated on large organizations, groups of people which usually the church was a foundation for and help them to create their own environment using the various tools that were available through urban renewal and so on to make that task easier.