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Milton Irvin

Investment banker Milton Irvin was born on June 18, 1949 in Orange, New Jersey to Milton M. Sr., and Dorothy W. Irvin. A graduate of Essex Catholic Boys High School in 1967 in Newark, New Jersey, Irvin received his B.S. degree in marine engineering in 1971 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York and his M.B.A. degree in finance in 1974 from the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

Irvin joined Chase Manhattan Bank as corporate lending officer and assistant treasurer from 1974 to 1977. He then went to work for Salomon Brothers, Inc. in New York City from 1977 to 1988. Irvin then served as managing director at Paine Webber Inc. from 1988 to 1990 and then re-joined Salomon Brothers, Inc. as managing director, and the firm’s first African American partner where he worked from 1990 to 1998 and handled short-term debt securities for Salomon’s clients. Irvin was appointed to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation as chair of the Advisory Committee by President Bill Clinton and served from 1995 to 1998. He then joined Blaylock & Partners as president, chief operating officer and partner. Irvin was named managing director at UBS Investment Bank where he led the strategic and tactical execution of diversity initiatives. He also served as UBS global head of career mobility advisor office, talent executive for Leadership Development Program (ASCENT), and global head of recruiting and training for the Fixed Income, Rates and Currency Department from 2002 to 2012.

Irvin was appointed by President Barack Obama for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He also was appointed chairman of the Board of Advisors at CastleOak Securities in 2012. He served as non-executive chairman at NexTier Companies, LLC., a multi-disciplined consulting and investment advisory in 2013. Governor Nikki Haley appointed Irvin to serve on the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees in 2015. Irvin was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees for South Carolina State University in 2018.

Irvin was named one of The 25 Hottest Blacks on Wall Street by Black Enterprise magazine.

Milton and his wife Melody have three adult children including Brandon, Viola and Kesi.

Milton Irvin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 23, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.145

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/23/2018

Last Name

Irvin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School

Essex Catholic High School

United States Merchant Marine Academy

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

First Name

Milton

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

IRV02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Antigua

Favorite Quote

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Birth Date

6/18/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hilton Head

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Investment banker Milton Irvin (1949- ) was managing director at UBS Investment Bank and before that, he was managing director at Paine Webber Inc. and Salomon Brother and prior to that, president and chief operating officer of Blaylock & Partners.

Favorite Color

Blue

Robert Currie

Healthcare executive Robert Currie was born on June 12, 1951 in Orange, New Jersey to James Currie and Hazel Shelton. Currie graduated from Orange High School in 1970, and earned his B.A. degree in sociology and urban studies from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1974. Currie went on to receive his M.A. degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1978.

After working as director of health systems planning at Chicago Health Systems Agency for several years, Currie became the vice president of strategic planning for Chicago Hospital Council/Compass Health Care Plans. In 1984, Currie joined the Michael Reese - Humana Health Plan, where he was the director of strategic planning from 1984 to 1987, vice president of strategic planning and market research from 1987 to 1993, and associate executive director of administration from 1993 to 1995. Currie went on to become the president and CEO of Unity HMO in Chicago, vice president and COO of Plan Americaid Texas, and COO of Harmony Health of Indiana. From 2001 to 2005, Currie served as the president of Harmony Health Management, Inc. and vice president of external affairs for Harmony/WellCare Health Plans until 2009 when he founded the Managed Care Consulting Group. In 2011, he was named COO of Aetna Better Health Illinois; and in 2014, Currie became the president and CEO of Community Care Alliance of Illinois.

In 2009, Currie was named as one of the Chicago Defender’s “50 Men of Excellence.” Currie received an Excellence in Health Care Award from the Illinois Black Caucus and the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) President’s Award, both in 2010. Currie also received a Chapter Leadership Award from the NAHSE Chicago Chapter in 2011. Currie served on the board of numerous organizations including the Black United Fund of Illinois, the Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management, and Youth, Vision, & Integrity, Inc. He also served as the president of NAHSE’s Chicago chapter from 1989 to 1991, and the national president of NAHSE from 1999 to 2001.

Robert Currie was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 23, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.023

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/23/2018

Last Name

Currie

Maker Category
Schools

University of Illinois at Chicago

Lawrence University

Orange High School

Lincoln Avenue School

Oakwood Avenue Community School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

ROB35

Favorite Season

Winter

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Don’t Give A Handout, But Give A Hand Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/12/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Liver

Short Description

Healthcare executive Robert Currie (1951 - ) served as the COO of Aetna Better Health Illinois before becoming the president and CEO of Community Core Alliance of Illinois in 2014.

Employment

Community Care Alliance of Illinois

Aetna Better Health

Managed Care Consulting Group

Americaid Texas

Unity HMO

Favorite Color

Black

Leonard Pitts

Journalist and author Leonard Garvey Pitts, Jr. was born on October 11, 1957 in Orange, California to Leonard Garvey and Agnes Rowan Pitts. He grew up in the impoverished South Central section of Los Angeles, California. A successful student, Pitts skipped several grades and entered the University of Southern California at age fifteen, where he graduated with his B.A. degree in English in 1977.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Pitts worked as a freelance journalist, writing for publications ranging from Musician to Reader's Digest. From 1976 until 1980, Pitts worked for Soul magazine as writer and editor. In 1980, he was hired as a writer for KFWB radio in Los Angeles, and, from 1983 to 1986, he worked for a program called Radioscope. Pitts wrote scripts for several radio documentaries in the late 1980s, including King: From Atlanta to the Mountaintop, Who We Are, and Young Black Men: A Lost Generation. He was hired by Westwood One, Inc. in 1989, and then by the Miami Herald in 1991, where he served as a music critic. Then, in 1994, Pitts was promoted to columnist at the Miami Herald, where he authored a column on race, politics and culture. His column was picked up for syndication by the Knight Ridder News Service, and appeared in about 250 newspapers.

Pitts is also the author of four books. His first book, Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood was published in 1999; Before I Forget, Pitts’s first novel, was released in March 2009; Forward from This Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2008 was published in August 2009; and Freeman, his second novel, was released in 2012. Pitts has also been invited to teach at a number of institutions, including Hampton University, Ohio University, the University of Maryland, and Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2011, he served as a visiting professor at Princeton University, and in 2013, he taught at George Washington University.

Pitts has received numerous awards. In 1997, he took first place for commentary in the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors' Ninth Annual Writing Awards competition. In 2001, Pitts received the American Society of Newspaper Editors ASNE Award for Commentary Writing, and was named Feature of the Year - Columnist by Editor and Publisher magazine. In 2002, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists awarded Pitts its inaugural Columnist of the Year award. In 2002 and in 2009, GLAAD Media awarded him the Outstanding Newspaper Columnist award, and, in 2004, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Pitts also received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Award of Excellence three times, and was chosen as NABJ’s 2008 Journalist of the Year. He is a five-time recipient of the Atlantic City Press Club’s National Headliners Award and a seven-time recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award. Pitts has received honorary doctorate degrees in humane letters from Old Dominion University and Utica College.

Leonard Pitts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 23, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.273

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/23/2013

Last Name

Pitts

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

University of Southern California

John C. Fremont High School

San Pedro Street Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Leonard

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

PIT31

Favorite Season

Fall

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Doesn't Matter How Hard You Hit, It's How Hard You Can Get Hit And Stand Back Up

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp, Red Beans and Rice, Dark Chocolate

Short Description

Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts (1957 - ) won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He was a columnist at the Miami Herald for two decades, and the author of Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, Before I Forget, Forward from This Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2008, and Freeman.

Employment

RadioScope

Soul Magazine

KFWB Radio

Westwood One Inc.

Miami Herald

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leonard Pitts' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leonard Pitts lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leonard Pitts describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leonard Pitts describes the history of Natchez, Mississippi.

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leonard Pitts describes her mother's education and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leonard Pitts describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leonard Pitts describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leonard Pitts talks about his paternal family's land

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leonard Pitts describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leonard Pitts talks about his father's military service

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leonard Pitts describes his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leonard Pitts describes his parents' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leonard Pitts describes his paternal family's migration from Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leonard Pitts describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to them

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leonard Pitts describes his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leonard Pitts describes the South Central section of Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leonard Pitts describes his early interest in writing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leonard Pitts describes the early influences on his writing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leonard Pitts describes his relationship with his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leonard Pitts remembers his elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leonard Pitts recalls singing in the junior choir at church

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Leonard Pitts remembers meeting Montie Montana

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Leonard Pitts talks about his academic strengths

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leonard Pitts talks about his relationship with his father

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leonard Pitts remembers his favorite foods from childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leonard Pitts recalls his early submissions to literary magazines

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leonard Pitts recalls his interest in popular culture

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leonard Pitts remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leonard Pitts remembers John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leonard Pitts recalls publishing his first poem

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leonard Pitts recalls attending the Resident Honors Program at the University of Southern California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leonard Pitts recalls joining the staff of Soul magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Leonard Pitts remembers working as a music critic for Soul magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Leonard Pitts remembers writing negative music reviews

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leonard Pitts remembers his favorite musical artists

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leonard Pitts recalls graduating from University of Southern California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leonard Pitts remembers his marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leonard Pitts describes his experiences as a radio writer

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leonard Pitts describes his growing interest in black history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leonard Pitts talks about his radio documentaries

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leonard Pitts remembers joining the Miami Herald

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leonard Pitts remembers the Los Angeles riots of 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Leonard Pitts talks about Elvis Presley's relationship with the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leonard Pitts talks about the social influence of music

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leonard Pitts talks about the changes in popular music

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leonard Pitts recalls his decision to stop writing music criticism

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leonard Pitts talks about his impressions of early rap music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leonard Pitts recalls writing columns for the Miami Herald

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leonard Pitts describes his experiences of racial discrimination at the Miami Herald

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leonard Pitts describes his writing process

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leonard Pitts talks about responding to his readers' criticism

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leonard Pitts recalls writing 'Becoming Dad'

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Leonard Pitts shares his advice to fathers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leonard Pitts recalls his column about the attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leonard Pitts recalls his reaction to the O.J. Simpson trial

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leonard Pitts recalls winning the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leonard Pitts describes 'Before I Forget'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leonard Pitts recalls receiving death threats for one of his columns, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leonard Pitts recalls receiving death threats for one of his columns, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leonard Pitts remembers writing 'Freeman'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Leonard Pitts describes the reception of 'Freeman'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Leonard Pitts talks about the importance of '12 Years a Slave'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Leonard Pitts talks about the misunderstanding of African American history

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Leonard Pitts describes his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Leonard Pitts describes his journalistic philosophy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Leonard Pitts reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Leonard Pitts reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Leonard Pitts talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Leonard Pitts describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Leonard Pitts recalls his column about the attacks of September 11, 2001
Leonard Pitts recalls his early submissions to literary magazines
Transcript
What was it about your column ['Sept. 12, 2001: We'll Go Forward From This Moment,' Leonard Pitts]? What did you say that really got people so excited?$$Have you re- have you read that paper at all?$$I've read parts of it.$$Yeah, it was--you know, I wrote that column--I began that column even before the second tower [South Tower of the World Trade Center, New York, New York] came down, I think. And I wrote it with a sense that we didn't--you know, at the time I started writing, we didn't know who had done this. We didn't know what the reasoning was. You know, so it was--and I couldn't write about Middle Eastern terrorism or domestic or whatever. So, I went with the only two things I did know, which was one, this made me very angry, and two, that I was--I believed that as Americans we would come together over this, and we would get whoever was responsible. And if you look at that column, it doesn't say anything terribly deep. Those are the only things that it says. And I think that what happened was that's what everybody was feeling. I think it caught what ever- what everyone was feeling. Because when that piece appeared the next day, I opened my email queue and there was, there were five hundred emails. And I went through them, and it there was far too many for me to answer. So I just sort of, you know, sorted through them and looked at a few, representative, and then closed the box. And after I clo- as I closed the box, there were a thousand. And every time I went through and sorted through them, there were five--there were more. And by the time I stopped counting, there were thirty thousand emails, you know, from that, from that particular column. It was just--it was just incredible.$$You said that--I guess whatever the gripe that the perpetrator had--you quoted in the column, you said, "You just damned your cause."$$Yeah, yeah. Which, you know, I think--I think there was a sense that, you know, you're going to make us--that they were going to make us fear, they were going to make us to, to respect their cause. And I felt that whoever did this--and I think, you know, the sense was that it was probably terrorism from somewhere afar--that they didn't, really didn't understand the character of this nation (laughter). And they didn't really understand the contrariness of this nation--that to do something like that is not going to win you respect and it's not going to win you--it's not going to win you fear. It's just going to resolve people that they're going to come get you.$$Okay. Richard Gephardt [Dick Gephardt], you know, read it on--$$Richard Gephardt read it. Regis Philbin read it on television. They set it to music, they put it on posters (laughter). That column went all over the place. That column did things that I've never seen any column by anybody ever do. It was just, it was, it was amazing. At some point--and people would ask me if I was proud of it. And it was sort of a, I had sort of a distance from it. It's like if you have four kids and you raise them, and you treat them all the same and you love them all the same, and three of them do well in life but, you know, the fourth one, you know, becomes a Nobel laureate, and goes to the moon or something. It's like, well, you know, I treated them all the same. So, it's hard for me to, to, to accept any special credit or claim on that one. It just--I wrote it, and it did what it did.$I also have a note here that you were sending stories to magazines at age twelve.$$Yeah. I started, I started submitting at twelve. I was first published at twelve, and--was it twelve? No, I was first published at fourteen in the L.A. Sentinel [Los Angeles Sentinel]. It wasn't a paying thing. The Sentinel is a black newspaper in L.A. [Los Angeles, California], and they published a poem of mine. But I started sending stuff out at twelve. There was a--you mentioned teachers that influenced you. When I was in junior high school, there was a librarian named Mr. Barbee, B-A-R-B-E-E, James Barbee [ph.]. And Mr. Barbee bought me a subscription to The Writer, which is a writers magazine. He was one of those teachers that, you know, sort of, he--you know, he had sympathy for me, I think, or empathy. And he used to let me hang out in the, in the library during recess, so I wouldn't have to deal with craziness from some of my classmates. And he bought me a subscription to The Writer. And I saw--you know, I'd read this and see that, oh, people will pay for this stuff. You know, you write, and people will--you send stuff out to magazines and people will send you money back. Okay, let's try this out (laughter). So, I started sending stuff out to magazines, literary magazines and things when I was twelve. And they sent it all right back. You know, and I still have, I still have some of those rejection notices.

Karen Hunter

Publisher and author Karen Hunter was born on April 24, 1966 in Orange, New Jersey. In 1983, she graduated from Marylawn of the Oranges Academy in South Orange, New Jersey. After high school, Hunter attended Drew University, where she received her B.A. degree in English.

In 1989, Hunter joined the New York Daily News where she worked as a columnist and covered numerous topics for the paper, including sports, business, and news stories. From 1996 to 1998, Hunter worked as a professor of journalism at New York University. In 1999, as a member of the Daily News’ editorial board, she received a Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s series of editorials that formed a campaign to save the Apollo Theater in Harlem. While still at the New York Daily News, Hunter also began writing music reviews, through which she met various musicians, including LL Cool J. It was through him that Hunter began writing books, starting with a collaborative effort to write LL Cool J’s memoir I Make My Own Rules. She also has collaborated in creating the celebrity memoirs of Queen Latifah and Kris Jenner, as well as Reverend Al Sharpton’s book Al on America. Other books that Hunter worked on discussed issues of African American culture, such as Karyn Langhorne Folan’s Don’t Bring Home a White Boy.

In 2002, Hunter took a new academic position as an assistant visiting professor at Hunter College in the Department of Film and Media Studies. From 2003 to 2006, she co-hosted a morning talk show with Steve Malzberg at the AM radio station WWRL. Hunter also became a contributor to many cable news channels, including appearances on the Paula Zahn Now show on CNN and MSNBC.

In 2007, Hunter became CEO of her own publishing company, Karen Hunter Publishing, as an imprint of Simon and Schuster Publishing. The label publishes mostly popular nonfiction targeted towards the market for African American titles. In 2010, she published a book as the sole author, called Stop Being Niggardly, which is addressed to African Americans and their successes. In 2011, Hunter began a separate business venture called First One Digital Publishing that focuses solely on e-books for electronic reading devices.

Hunter lives in New York City.

Karen Hunter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 3, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.166

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/3/2012

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Marylawn Of The Oranges Academy

Drew University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Karen

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

HUN07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida, Bermuda

Favorite Quote

I'm A Pie Maker. I Don't Worry About The Crumbs, I Make A New Pie.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/24/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Publishing chief executive and author Karen Hunter (1966 - ) worked as a columnist for the New York Daily News where she won a Pulitzer Prize before becoming a frequent book collaborator. She also founded Karen Hunter Publishing and First One Digital Publishing.

Employment

Karen Hunter Publishing

First One Digital Publishing

Random House Publishing

1600 AM WWRL

Hunter College

St. Martin's Press

New York University

New York Daily News

Favorite Color

Money Green, Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:3834,88:5183,140:9372,211:11218,227:17363,278:19239,321:26274,456:31098,586:32304,603:32706,611:39712,654:41916,753:42676,774:64324,1070:64836,1079:65732,1096:66308,1106:66692,1113:73860,1287:75460,1332:81762,1442:85358,1516:85764,1525:86112,1533:90520,1686:91506,1716:91854,1723:92086,1729:94638,1823:95334,1844:102900,1947:106470,2023:124008,2311:126592,2363:127340,2377:139685,2556:140221,2566:141092,2588:142231,2611:143571,2645:144442,2662:144844,2669:147610,2677$0,0:16047,377:16402,383:17467,440:27990,529:46476,917:46788,922:56147,1024:57388,1051:57826,1058:64834,1275:76260,1512:97906,1842:101074,1969:101434,1975:105610,2087:107698,2129:119460,2309:120480,2322:120905,2328:130425,2568:135950,2659:141310,2683:141835,2691:142135,2697:146335,2766:154735,2966:162010,3049:164782,3138:168634,3181:170146,3217:170434,3222:170866,3229:174754,3345:175186,3352:180010,3452:184784,3487:198278,3733:198658,3739:212210,3927
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Karen Hunter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter describes Geechee culture and talks about her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter describes her maternal grandfather's relationships with his wife and children

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter talks about James Brown's impact on people from Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the accommodationist attitude her mother's family had towards segregation

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter considers her mother's dreams and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter describes her mother's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's connections to the choir at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter describes her father's response Southern to discrimination and how he met his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about the role of the church in her parents' childhoods

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about her mother's miscarriages and her brother's birth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's personality, and her likeness to him

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter describes her father's obsessive compulsive disorder

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's work ethic, occupations, and his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's store, Hunter Corner Store

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about the 1967 Newark, New Jersey riots, and her father's reaction to them

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter describes her father's attitude towards playing Scrabble

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter shares her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter describes her childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's mentor and the robberies that occurred at her father's store

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's retirement at forty eight years old

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter describes her childhood neighborhood in East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about attending grade school, her stature, and quick wit

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about transitioning from public school to Catholic school and her grade school crush

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter talks about skipping seventh grade

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes her fifth grade teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about attending a Catholic all-girls high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about her experiences at Marylawn of the Oranges Catholic High School in South Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her childhood and the role of reading and TV

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about breaking her father's aquarium and the family's move

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about her love of books as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's ideologies

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Karen Hunter talks about her parents and their love of music and parties

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about how her view of religion has evolved, as well as about her interest in gospel music

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about the individuals in the arts that influenced her as a youth

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter reflects upon the impact the nuns at Marylawn of the Oranges Catholic High School had on her

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about traveling to Washington, D.C., Paris, and Spain as a high school student

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter talks about why she applied to Drew University in Madison, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes Drew University and the surrounding community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about her college major

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about her experience at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her fried chicken business at Drew University

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her perception of Black Studies and black culture as a student

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about her last year at Drew University and her first job

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter describes attempting to audition for Saturday Night Live

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about her first job after college graduation selling dictionaries

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about her early career in newspaper writing and being hired at the New York Daily News

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about writing for the New York Daily News

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about the challenges of a sports writer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter discusses the importance of looking for guidance during her early career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes transitioning from sports writing to news writing at the New York Daily News

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the dynamic of being a female reporter covering male sports

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter recalls how covering a murder case in Brooklyn, New York changed her perception of journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about covering a school shooting at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about the change in ownership at the New York Daily News and a mentor who saved her job

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about her work as a business writer at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter compares New York City's most popular newspapers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about the racist environment at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter describes how she has stayed true to herself

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter recalls being invited to sit on the editorial board at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes how sitting on the editorial board of the New York Daily news changed her perception of news writing

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about broadening her understanding of diversity at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter describes her transition from writing editorials to music reviews at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her first book contract with LL Cool J, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her first book contract with LL Cool J, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about the backlash her Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the Apollo Theater received

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about investigating the poor conditions of the Apollo Theater in the 1990s

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about how the New York Daily News' series on saving the Apollo Theater won her a Pulitzer Prize

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter reflects upon the state of Black America

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about how black writers influence mainstream media

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter talks about the challenge of balancing cultural and racial bias in journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes the challenge of being a black journalist in mainstream media

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the importance of holding black leaders accountable

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about Marva Collins

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her journalistic integrity

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her experiences teaching at New York University and with the Legal Outreach program in Harlem, New York City

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about the failure of her online women's sports magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her morning talk radio show

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about balancing radio hosting, news writing, and teaching in the early 2000s

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about predicting Barack Obama's presidential candidacy and leaving the New York Daily News in 2004

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about writing On the Down Low with J.L. King, as well as the impact of the book

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about the 2007 launch of her imprint, Karen Hunter Publishing

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter reflects upon American achievement

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter talks about black publishing and her mission to publish books that appeal to all people

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the impact of publishing Kris Jenner's book

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter describes what inspired her to call for a boycott of Donald Trump

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about the projects published through Karen Hunter Publishing

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter describes some of Karen Hunter Publishing's projects

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about her family

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$6

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Karen Hunter talks about how the New York Daily News' series on saving the Apollo Theater won her a Pulitzer Prize
Karen Hunter talks about the racist environment at the New York Daily News
Transcript
So I wasn't the lead on the editorials at all. We had a crack research staff, you know like Mike--Michael Aronson was--every I was dotted, every T was crossed, every number was--numbers were--this was a--this, this series was about the numbers not adding up. Wasn't personal, wasn't flowery writing, it wasn't like you know, a five year old crack head and that, you know that kind of--it was about the numbers not adding up and, and, and the malfeasance that led to the, the, the breakdown of a, of a Harlem institution. But the, the reason why the Pulitzer was awarded was because, because of these series, Time Warner came in and formed a new board that then restored it. So, so it wasn't just ooh, look at this. But now there's a solution. And that was the formula that Michael understood made sense and mattered. Because in order to win a Pulitzer, you have to have an impact on something. You can't just say you have a booger, you know you have to bring the tissue and wipe the nose. You know, you have to fix that, right. So the, the editorials led to a solution that then led to something really great happening in the city of Harlem. Which also kind of was the anchor for all of the gentrification and the wonderful stuff that's going on there now, right. So, so you look at the broader impact of something like that and you go wow, you know, it was not just this one piece and it wasn't picking on Charlie Rangel, and it wasn't just picking on Percy Sutton; but it was holding them accountable, which is what we should do, right? It's sort of our like our vote. You know you just go, go I'm gonna vote for somebody, but they're not taking care of your interests, right. They're not doing the things that, that are helping you get educated and helping you get a job and things like that, but you can just keep voting for them. And that's what was happening in Harlem. You know, you just gone pour your love and support on people and they're rich. You know, they're living like fat cats and you're hungry. There's a problem there. And it wasn't personal. And to be able to--and, and to--if you go back and see, there was no backlash. And it was easy to target the Daily News for racism; easy, easy, easy cause it had a history. But I think we, we did the groundwork in making sure that wasn't gonna happen by, by reaching out to the people in the community and explaining to them, instead of just going off and doing stuff. They were involved in it. They were whistle blowing. You see what I'm saying? So anyone who feels betrayed, look in your backyard because the Daily News pieces could not have gotten done without a lot of people helping.$And that--now they had to get sued to, to do it. It was the first paper on record to be actually convicted of racism in this country. Did you know that? Which is how I got there. I didn't tell you that story, right. So I get there the first week after this dude was telling me I'm not up to par and I'm already a little insecure now about my talents. And I get there the first week Bill Traverse, who was my direct supervisor in high school sports says to me well, you know you're only here because you're black. Who says that to a kid coming in? And I--so initially, and this is how I operate, I was taken aback but you can't show it. So I said okay, well I'm gone show you how a black person operates, you know, that was my mindset. Okay, I'm just here cause I'm black, well I'm gone let you know what that looks like. They had never had a black person in that particular department before, so that--the next week I got that front page piece, or two weeks after that. So that was my answer to that. And so he says to me I been here for twenty years, I never had a front page piece. I said maybe you need to work a little harder. Maybe, maybe there's something you're not doing right. Or maybe it's cause I'm black, you know. But--and there was another kid that wanted the job that I had and he was dating one of my coworkers who was in high school department. And somebody asked him to do something, he said get the nigger to do it. All this was going on with--without me knowing, you know, that there's these, these, these, these rumblings, these racist rumblings going on in this department. But I'm oblivious to it because I have a, an objective. It has nothing to do with their racism. I got my own plan. So it in many ways not knowing it probably helped fuel, you know, and then when he confronted me with that, that put me in a whole 'nother path. So then he was telling me about the, the lawsuit and how the slot was open for this many years because they had to fill it with a minority. And this and this and that, you know and it had to be, you know a black or Asian or something. So my being there was interesting because in many ways I, I kind of set the table. And then coming behind me a couple years later was Steven A. Smith. So he comes into that same cesspool of racism, same exact space, and he's experiencing the same thing. So we automatically bonded because I'm a little brash and out there. And at the time he was just out of his--I forgot what school he went to in North Carolina. But you know he's wearing these tight pants, and that wasn't in, in style then. But love you Steven. But he comes in and he's getting broadsided because he's, he's urban, you know he's very urban. But what he does know are the streets in a way that these people never will. So he's now talking to kids like Lamar Odom, you know and, and you know really developing relationships, which has been his hallmark. And he and I are talking, you know. And he's like well they told me I shouldn't hang out with you, that you're trouble, you know. This is what he tells me. I said well you can make this decision on your own, I'm still here doing things at a high level. They're in high school sports. So you make a decision about who you're going to listen to. Somebody who's been in high school sports for twenty five years, or someone who's moving and shaking over here. So he made his choice and it was the, I think the right choice. He didn't last there long, but as a result of kind of marching to his own beat, look where he is today. And I feel like--not that I empowered him cause Steven A was Steven A when I met him. But to have somebody there as a mentor at, at a place where you could really get damaged if you don't have someone showing you how to rock and sock and robot, you know, gives you more power to, to operate in your space, in your talent. So that was you know-

George L. Miles, Jr.

George L. Miles, Jr. was born on November 13, 1941 in Orange, New Jersey. He is one of Eula and George Miles’ seven children. In 1963, Miles earned his B.A. degree in accounting from Seton Hall University and his M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1970. He also became a New Jersey-licensed certified public accountant in 1972.

Following his graduation from Seton Hall University, Miles worked for the Department of Defense for six years in the Defense Audit Agency as a contract auditor during President Kennedy and President Johnson’s terms in office. In 1969, Miles began work with Touche Ross & Company in New York City. In 1972, he left as an audit manager. While at Touche Ross, Miles studied at Fairleigh Dickinson University to earn his M.B.A. He joined KDKA-TV/DKDA-AM/WPNT in 1978, working as a business manager and controller. From 1981 through 1984, Miles served as station manager for WBZ-TV in Boston. In 1983, assigned by Westinghouse Broadcasting, Miles served as Chief Administrative Officer for National Public Radio (NPR), in order to analyze, develop and execute plans and procedures which allowed NPR to obtain relief from fiscal difficulties. Between 1984 and 1994, Miles became Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of WNET/13 in New York. In 1994, Miles was appointed President and CEO of WQED Multimedia, a public broadcasting media company which encompasses WQED-TV, WQEX-TV, WQED-FM and PITTSBURGH magazine.

Miles has received Honorary Doctorates from Robert Morris University, La Roche College and St. Joseph’s College. He is also a recipient of the Pinnacle Award for Outstanding Achievement as an alumnus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. In 2006, The New Pittsburgh Courier named him one of the “Fifty Most Influential African-Americans.” Miles was also the 2007 Recipient of the Point Park University Performing Arts Partnership & Achievement Award.

Miles sits on the boards of American International Group, Inc.; Chester Engineers, Inc.; Equitable Resources, Inc.; Harley-Davidson, Inc.; HFF, Inc. and WESCO International, Inc. He also served as a former Chairman of the Urban League of Pittsburgh.

Miles lives in Pittsburgh and is married to Janet L. Miles. They have a daughter, Tammy and granddaughter, Taylor.

Miles was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 12, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.103

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/12/2008

Last Name

Miles

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Orange High School

Oakwood Avenue Community School

Lincoln Avenue School

Orange Preparatory Academy

Seton Hall University

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

MIL07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

Wonderful.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

11/13/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Snack Foods

Short Description

Broadcast executive George L. Miles, Jr. (1941 - ) was the president and CEO of WQED Multimedia, a public broadcasting media company which encompasses WQED-TV, WQEX-TV, WQED-FM and PITTSBURGH magazine.

Employment

WQED Multimedia

Young Men's Christian Association

Otis Elevator Company

Defense Contract Audit Agency

Touche Ross and Co.

KDKA-TV

Westinghouse Broadcasting Company

National Public Radio

WNET-TV

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George L. Miles, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George L. Miles, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about the close relationships within his maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George L. Miles, Jr. remembers his mother's accomplishments

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George L. Miles, Jr. recalls lessons from his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his experiences at the Oakwood Avenue School in Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George L. Miles, Jr. recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George L. Miles, Jr. remembers his teachers at the Oakwood Avenue School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about his family connections to Dionne Warwick and Cissy Houston

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about his interest in doo wop music

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his extracurricular activities at Orange High School in Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his decision to attend Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George L. Miles, Jr. recalls how he paid his tuition at Seton Hall University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his work and study habits at Seton Hall University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George L. Miles, Jr. recalls his professors and peers at Seton Hall University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his struggle to find a position as a certified public accountant

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about his U.S. Army service in the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about his U.S. Army service in the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his position at Touch Ross and Co.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - George L. Miles, Jr. remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George L. Miles, Jr. recalls his introduction to the media industry at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his experiences at the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about the reorganization of National Public Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about his operational strategy for public broadcast stations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George L. Miles, Jr. recalls joining WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his success at WQED-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about the programming on WQED-TV, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George L. Miles, Jr. recalls the production of 'The War That Made America'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about the programming on WQED-TV, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George L. Miles, Jr. remembers 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about the future of WQED Multimedia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George L. Miles, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his role as an advisor for public broadcasting stations

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - George L. Miles, Jr. talks about his daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - George L. Miles, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - George L. Miles, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

3$6

DATitle
George L. Miles, Jr. talks about the reorganization of National Public Radio
George L. Miles, Jr. describes his success at WQED-TV
Transcript
Then one day I got a call from a, the, my boss in New York [New York] asking me if I would go to Washington, D.C. for a six month stint to work for National Public Radio [NPR]. This is 1983. And would I, will I, if I would go and go to Washington, D.C. as a chief administrator officer for National Public Radio. Because they were going, they needed a temporary management team down there, 'cause they were going through these major fiscal crisis (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) They were going through a big crisis, yeah.$$Big time crisis.$$Reagan [President Ronald Wilson Reagan] I think cut it 90 percent or something.$$Well, it was about cutting back, but it was also about mismanagement, just mismanagement. A guy named Frank Mankiewicz and, chief financial officer there, and it was just like they had setup these great programs of 'All Things Considered,' 'Morning Edition' and, and there were just no business acumen whatsoever. So I went down there with a team headed up by a gentleman by the name of Ron Bornstein [Ronald Bornstein] out of Wisconsin, I was his chief administrator officer. Went down there for six months to get it back on track, we did a lot things. It gave me, first of all I didn't know anything about public broadcast, I didn't even know where it was on the dial. So that when I left Boston [WBZ-TV, Boston, Massachusetts] a friend of mine had to show me where public broadcasting was on the dial. And I went down to work there 'cause it was something new and, and I worked for six months and we got a lot of things accomplished. You know and they had all sorts of problems. Everybody had credit cards in the company, we had--took credit cards, we had to lay people off, we had to fire the president. We had to fire the chief financial officer, but I got involved with stuff, we had to put a budgeting process in place. I got a chance to, to testify before [U.S.] Congress, and many of Congress. Never would have had that opportunity before, and got to know a whole new business. After we finished, we put in an old, Mel Ming [HistoryMaker H. Melvin Ming] as a matter of fact.$$Yeah Mel--$$Hired Mel Ming, put Mel Ming as the chief financial officer down there with another guy and I left, went back to Boston [Massachusetts]. And I was in, and I was having a good time in Boston, then get a call, then they also, National Public Radio made me the chairman of their finance committee, on the boards. I sat on the board there and I was back up Boston, so now I was like straddling two worlds, I was straddling public broadcasting, I was straddling also public, public, public broadcasting on one side and commercial broadcasting. And I was in and out and I knew, I knew this, I could see the difference. Then one day I get a call from a headhunter in New York, wanted me to take a look at this job in New York as, as the chief operating officer of Channel 13 [WNET-TV] in New York. This company was going through some major fiscal crisis and major working capital deficits, it had all sorts of non- they were just not being run like a business. All, it was a major, hundred million dollar company being run like a mom and pop operation. So I said this is a great opportunity, my wife [Janet Miles] is in New Jersey, New York. I can move back to my house, and move into my house and then move down to this big entity, which I know nothing about and see if we can straighten those problems out. And we did it, came back, one of the persons I, first person I recruited to come up to New York was Mel Ming. Mel, bring him in, brought him out, NPR brought him up here to become my chief financial officer at in New York. And we spent, I spent ten years there, we moved from a company that was working capital deficits of about $7 million to a company that working in the red. To a company that was prospering, to a company that was built an endowment of almost seventy mil- had started an endowment process. Hired a lot of new people, put a whole new memberships in, to the place was really good shape after ten years.$What national programs are being produced here--$$Well--$$--when you--$$Well, you had 'Infinite Voyage' ['The Infinite Voyage']; you had 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego,' National Geographic [National Geographic Society] started here. You had--'Mister Rogers' ['Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'] was here, many, many (unclear) people, all big national things had started out as--but what happened in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania] was a lot of these big corporations had left Pittsburgh, so Pittsburgh didn't have the sort, this station [WQED-TV, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] didn't have the sort of funding as a New York [New York] or Boston [Massachusetts] or D.C. [Washington, D.C.]. So that's, they, but they were still committed to these big projects, so that's, that's a part of the problem.$$Okay.$$So that's, that's, that's what you're dealing with, so what I had to do, I had to first of all, first of all (laughter), had to do was let everybody know there's a new sheriff in town, that we gonna do business differently. And had to go back to my roots of New Jersey and had to shake it up a little bit, I mean--here the first week and literally fired three people, straightaway. Had to let them know that this is no longer gonna be this quiet station, we're gonna change.$$Were they business, I mean management, management type--$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right, okay.$$Didn't need them, didn't actually didn't need them, they were just here. And so we did that, then we set a direction, we had sit down worked out a plan on where we gonna go. We said we're gonna be the local, we're not gonna be national, we're gonna be local, and then we had to go. Then I had to go out and sell, that's why I brought Mel [HistoryMaker H. Melvin Ming] in, I said, "Mel, you take care of the inside, I'll go take care of the outside." Then I had to go rebuild the creditability, 'cause a lot press had been written about QED [WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] and, and how bad it you know had turned and all the other things that had gone on. Management had kept themselves focusing in on their, on their perks as opposed to their, their organization, didn't keep its eye on the marketplace, but just kept itself on its own self. And that was a problem. So what happened was I had to go back and rebuild the creditability, all sorts of negative stories about this place. So I had to go out and meet a lot of people, I was everywhere, everywhere in this community I was there. "Hi, how you doing, I'm George Miles [HistoryMaker George L. Miles, Jr.], I'm here, I'm the new president of WQ, by the way, I'm here, I was here before. I'm the lo- I was a local guy," so let them know that I'm still part of them, so just started building your credit. You gotta give people to like you, you, get people to understand you.$$Was, was the station seen as elitist or snobbish or, or, I, I don't what, what was the--$$All of the above (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) what was the negative, yeah--$$It was lot, I mean it was elitist, it was, it was wasting money, it was, it was not iden- it didn't have the common touch. In fact one of the things I continue to say over and over again that I didn't want this to be your grandfather's publication, public service media, public media company, I wanted this to be a place that belong to the community, the entire community. Not just part of the community on the East End [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], this is a, gonna belong to everybody. And the program that we're gonna be developing was about people in the entire community as opposed to folks who were just part of a certain economic class.

Reuben A. Munday

Attorney Reuben Alexander Munday was born on March 2, 1947, in East Orange, New Jersey. Attending Logan Nursery School and Chambliss Children’s House, Munday graduated from Wyoming Seminary School, a boarding school in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Earning his B.A. in English in 1971, Munday worked for Cornell University’s Office of Public Information from 1972 to 1974; he received his M.P.S. degree in African American Studies in 1974, and enrolled in the University of Michigan Law School, graduating in 1976.

In 1977, Munday became an associate with the Detroit firm of Lewis, White, Clay and Graves (now Lewis and Munday). President of the firm from 1994 to 2003, Munday’s primary areas of practice included real estate acquisition and sale, commercial leases, mortgage financing, commercial and industrial real estate development, and problem real estate loan work outs. Munday’s firm represented various municipal corporations in the development of major projects in the city of Detroit, including the Trolley Plaza Apartments; Trappers Alley; the Robert L. Millender Center; the Madison Center Court House; the Cobo Hall Expansion Project; the Chrysler Jefferson Avenue Assembly Plant; and the Chrysler Mack Avenue Engine Plant. Munday served as the first African American general counsel to downtown Detroit development during Mayor Coleman Young’s administration

A sought after teacher and speaker on continuing legal education, Munday was also a member of many legal associations, including the American Bar Association; Detroit Bar Association; the Wolverine Bar Association; and the National Bar Association. A board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, St. John Health System Finance Committee, Fund for Detroit’s Future, City of Detroit Board of Ethics, National Conference for Community and Justice, City Year Detroit, and St. John Riverview Hospital, Munday married Dr. Cheryl Munday, with whom he had a son.

Accession Number

A2005.096

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/5/2005

Last Name

Munday

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

Chambliss Children's House at Tuskegee Institute

Wyoming Seminary Upper School

Cornell University

University of Michigan

First Name

Reuben

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

MUN01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

3/2/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Real estate lawyer and commercial lawyer Reuben A. Munday (1947 - ) and his firm represented various municipal corporations in the development of major projects in the city of Detroit, including the Trolley Plaza Apartments; Trappers Alley; the Robert L. Millender Center; the Madison Center Court House; the Cobo Hall Expansion Project; the Chrysler Jefferson Avenue Assembly Plant; and the Chrysler Mack Avenue Engine Plant.

Employment

Lewis & Munday, A Professional Corporation

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1240,37:10464,147:11283,158:11738,164:41640,382:42495,392:54067,495:67790,620:69550,635:82030,733:82934,742:84516,760:88019,774:95190,838:98710,895:99270,903:110339,1035:118518,1097:122566,1148:140478,1267:140962,1272:155908,1403:172315,1589:173250,1599$0,0:11646,145:12647,157:13557,164:14285,173:37850,386:38210,391:54870,563:55950,577:56310,582:60010,594:60682,603:61738,615:63850,636:64810,651:84443,897:85154,907:106956,1086:107436,1092:109356,1112:109932,1120:114636,1181:115308,1190:115692,1195:132815,1340:136056,1350:137024,1367:137464,1373:138080,1382:138432,1387:143272,1465:155524,1610:156148,1618:156616,1625:157474,1637:158020,1642:173372,1791:195638,2171:207920,2348:215230,2415
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reuben A. Munday's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reuben A. Munday lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reuben A. Munday describes his mother's family background in Henderson, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reuben A. Munday talks about his mother's college education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reuben A. Munday describes his father's family background in Berea, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reuben A. Munday talks about his father's education at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reuben A. Munday recalls his father's teaching career at the University of Tennessee in Nashville and the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reuben A. Munday remembers growing up at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reuben A. Munday describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reuben A. Munday describes the campus of the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reuben A. Munday describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reuben A. Munday reflects upon the role of music during his upbringing in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reuben A. Munday talks about his primary education at Chambliss Children's House in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reuben A. Munday describes the roles of religion and education in his family

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reuben A. Munday recounts his decision to attend a northern boarding school for high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reuben A. Munday describes his experience at the Wyoming Seminary School in Kingston, Pennsylvania from 1961 to 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reuben A. Munday reflects upon the differences between black and white students at the Wyoming Seminary School in Kingston, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reuben A. Munday describes his extracurricular and athletic interests while at the Wyoming Seminary School in Kingston, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reuben A. Munday talks about his decision to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reuben A. Munday describes his high school Civil Rights Movement experiences in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reuben A. Munday describes Sammy Younge, Jr.'s racially motivated murder in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1966

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reuben A. Munday describes the impact of Sammy Younge, Jr.'s murder on his political formation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reuben A. Munday talks about Johnny Ford, the first black mayor in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reuben A. Munday talks about leaving the black community at Tuskegee Institute for Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reuben A. Munday describes Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and its African American Society

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reuben A. Munday recalls student activism at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York during the late 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reuben A. Munday talks about dropping out of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1969 before completing his studies

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reuben A. Munday recalls influential faculty in the African American studies department of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reuben A. Munday reflects upon what he learned in African American studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reuben A. Munday recounts his decision to enroll at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reuben A. Munday describes finishing law school and joining the firm of Lewis, White, Clay and Graves in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reuben A. Munday talks about Coleman Young, mayor of Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reuben A. Munday talks about the importance of business ownership in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reuben A. Munday describes the challenges of running his law firm, Lewis and Munday

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reuben A. Munday talks about his law firm's contributions to the community in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reuben A. Munday describes Detroit, Michigan's attempt to build Africa Town, a black business community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reuben A. Munday compares the economic practices of African American and immigrant groups

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reuben A. Munday describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reuben A. Munday considers what he would do differently

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reuben A. Munday reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reuben A. Munday talks about his parents and his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reuben A. Munday talks about the importance of preserving history

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reuben A. Munday describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reuben A. Munday narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Reuben A. Munday talks about Coleman Young, mayor of Detroit, Michigan
Reuben A. Munday describes Detroit, Michigan's attempt to build Africa Town, a black business community
Transcript
Basically I (unclear)--I thought I'd still be leaving, but Coleman Young was mayor, there was a lot of huge downtown development work going on. I became the first general counsel to the city of Detroit [Michigan] downtown development authority and just tremendous access to those who were involved in economic development. We were early on involved in tax increment financing and different kinds of tax abatement, industrial commercial housing, abatement, tax-exempt bonds. This firm was the first African American firm in the 'Redbook' authorized to give an opinion on tax-exempt bonds. So I was in my comfort zone because it was groundbreaking territory. I was getting to be myself; I was a fish in water. Coleman Young with Tuskegee Airmen originally from Alabama, tough as nails, I think respected as a man but really disagreed with it, very much disliked in some quarters but I think history will be kind to Coleman Young in the long run but he was a man of strong opinions and very much empowering. This firm would not be here but for Coleman Young and I gave you a film that kind of details the history of this firm from '72 [1972]. It's now one of the oldest continuing firms from '72 [1972] to 2005. Many of the firms have--that started around that same time have fallen off. So we're proud that we've been able to continue the institution. I am very much of the belief that we must build as African Americans build back our business class and our firm is very much involved in working with African American auto suppliers and other institutions as well as Fortune 500 companies.$Okay, Africa Town. Now what happened, what's going on with Africa Town, give us your analysis?$$Africa Town comes out of the recognition that we desperately need a business community. The old historic African American business community, Interstate--I-75 runs through it now. It was knocked down and eliminated, we don't think that's an accident but we do not have the business class that supports a city [Detroit, Michigan] that's 85 percent black. The problem with Africa Town is the way the plan was presented. The plan was not prepared by people who have experience in real estate. So what was driving the plan was the goal of increasing the number of African American-owned businesses. What was missing was the specifics of what property are you going to buy, how are you going to finance it, what's going to be the mix of businesses, what's the demand for the businesses, what are the financial projections to make sure it can carry whatever debt you need to incur to make the improvements you need to make to real estate? Obviously this can't be done in a racist way, you can't just go out and say this is unless you use your own money as some ethnic groups do, loan money to each other only. But you can't, as a public body, go out and say only these African Americans can participate in this district. So the objective, I think, is correct that you can't send all your money out of town and wonder why you live in a ghetto. You can't not own any businesses and wonder why you are unemployed. If you own businesses you can be employed and you can employ other people. So I think we've been told in pretty clear terms that people in this country don't want to hear us crying about what happened to us. Maybe that's wrong, maybe that's right but I think that's a fact and that being the fact, I don't think there is a lot of room for us to do anything other than to take the initiative to build and support businesses as much as we can. Now how you do that, it matters and you need people who have experience, expertise matters. People who have done it before who've made the mistakes, what you get to do depends a lot on where the money is going to come from. Who's going to put up money for this, how do you decide what businesses will be profitable and which ones won't, where's the support? Out of nowhere we're going to sell fish or whatever and what was the analysis that got you there?

Dr. Rameck R. Hunt

Dr. Rameck Hunt was born in Orange, New Jersey, on May 1, 1973. Hunt's mother, only seventeen when he was born, worked hard to support the family, but they were constantly moving back to his grandmother's house. When Hunt was fourteen, he moved to Newark to live with an uncle and attend University High in a rough neighborhood; the friends he made there would send him on the path to medical school and becoming an inspiration to many urban youth.

Once at University High, two other students, George Jenkins and Sampson Davis, recognized Hunt for his intelligence. The three soon bonded, spending their time together but still getting their class work done. When Hunt was sixteen, he was out with a different group of friends and was involved in the beating of an old man. Hunt awoke the next morning in juvenile detention and vowed never to return. The opportunity to escape the ghetto came when Jenkins convinced Hunt and Davis to go to Seton Hall University, which offered a program for minority students interested in careers in medicine. Despite the obstacles they faced growing up, and even more when they were accepted to the program, the three graduated. From there, Hunt went on to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and despite the fact that the three of them were split up, they still saw one another frequently, providing support through tough times. Hunt graduated in 1999, and his grandmother, with whom he had spent so much time growing up, attended despite her poor health; she passed away two days later.

Hunt went on to become the medical director at St. Peter's University Hospital's How Lane Adult Family Health Center. The three friends also established a nonprofit organization, the Three Doctors Foundation, which provides scholarships to inner-city youth. The Three Doctors also tour the country speaking about their experiences and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. The doctors co-wrote a critically acclaimed book, The Pact, about their experiences, and they were honored at the 2000 Essence Awards for their community service.

Accession Number

A2003.137

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/18/2003

Last Name

Hunt

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University High School of Humanities

Seton Hall University

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

First Name

Rameck

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

HUN03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/1/1973

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cabbage (White)

Short Description

Emergency physician Dr. Rameck R. Hunt (1973 - ) is one of the Three Doctors, a group of childhood friends who escaped the slums of Newark, New Jersey, to become doctors. Their story is chronicled in the critically acclaimed book, "The Pact," which Hunt co-authored.

Employment

St. Peter's University Hospital How Lane Adult Family Health Center

Three Doctors Foundation

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rameck Hunt interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rameck Hunt's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rameck Hunt discusses his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rameck Hunt describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rameck Hunt describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rameck Hunt discusses his parents' courtship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rameck Hunt discusses his family's adoption of the Nation of Islam

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rameck Hunt details his family structure growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rameck Hunt reflects on his education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rameck Hunt reflects on his early years in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rameck Hunt describes his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rameck Hunt details his political activity while in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rameck Hunt recalls his high school experience with Sampson Davis and George Jenkins

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rameck Hunt talks about college choice and aspirations to become a doctor

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rameck Hunt recounts a pivotal moment in his life

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rameck Hunt reflects on the choices facing urban youth

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rameck Hunt reflects on his juvenile arrest

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rameck Hunt assesses his educational experience

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rameck Hunt discusses good and bad teachers from his educational experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rameck Hunt reflects on his college experience

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rameck Hunt reflects on his commitment to service

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rameck Hunt shares thoughts on his medical school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rameck Hunt details his residency experience

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rameck Hunt describes the Three Doctors Foundation

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rameck Hunt shares thoughts on the hip-hop generation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rameck Hunt expresses his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rameck Hunt considers his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rameck Hunt shares thoughts on racial uplift

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rameck Hunt describes how he'd like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Rameck Hunt recalls his high school experience with Sampson Davis and George Jenkins
Rameck Hunt details his residency experience
Transcript
Of the three doctors in--who we've interviewed, of you three young doctors, you're the only one that's got a political kind of story, you know, (unclear).$$(Simultaneously) Yeah, yeah.$$Now when did you meet George and--?$$Ninth grade in high school. See I, I, yeah, I was--I met Sam [Sampson Davis] and George [Jenkins] in ninth grade of high school. I was in, placed into the advanced placement classes. And they were also in there. So we met just by default because we were classmates. And all of our classes were the same. Like we, we had every single class--all eight periods were, were pretty much the same. And so we just, we met each other that way and we, we had a initial bond because we realized that we had a lot of similarities--like we liked to get our work done, but we also liked to have fun. We liked to hang out and stuff like that. And so it, it, it started that way. And so our friendship just developed over time. That--and Sam and George had already known each other 'cause they, they had met in the seventh grade two years before I came along. And at, at--'cause University High School actually started in seventh grade. They had like a junior high school component. And so it went from there. And it, it just kind of grew over time. And, I mean, actually, in high school before--I mean I always knew Sam and George, but they weren't my best friends initially. My best friends were Ahi Baraka and this guy named Hassan Abdu Sebord (ph.), and we were like the three amigos initially. And me and Sam and George were very, very cool, but I hung out with them a little more. Me and Sam were, were a--just got closer as we got older because me and Sam had jobs. We were probably one of the couple of guys in the--and then George did get a job, too. One of the, the couple of guys who actually went out there and got a job and tried to get some money in their pocket and me and Sam were the first two people to get cars at the high school and so me and him hung out more. And as the years went on we got a lot closer because we, we did a lot of same things. We liked to go out to parties, you know. We liked to, you know, liked the girls and all of that other stuff. So we, we got a lot closer as years went on.$$Okay, all right. Now I'm just thinking that that's not unlike a lot of young (laughter) what things that you all say you had in common. But the most unique thing might be the study habits, you know.$$Yeah, and I think that is, that is the study habits were unique and what really bonded us because Ahi and Hassan weren't in the same classes I wa-, I was in. Even though we, we were friends, we had totally different classes and we had different study habits. And so as time went on me, Sam, and George were a lot closer. And Ahi and Hassan--our relationship was still close but it, it, it was like I was in the middle. Like I was really cool with Sam and George and also really cool with Ahi and Hassan. And, and the, and actually the, the crossroad came when it was time to think about going to college. And, initially, I wanted to go to Howard [University] along with Ahi and Hassan (interruption).$$Now you were an honor student in high school?$$When I first started high school I was a honor student. But then I wanted to hang out more. And so I just--and I--and high school was pretty easy so I realized I could just get by and be fine. So I didn't really do any-, try to excel academically like I used to.$$Now you were taking honors courses, right, so you're on another track. And it was still kind of easy--you know what I'm saying?$$Yeah. It, it wasn't, it wasn't hard at all. I mean it just wasn't hard. This, this school that I went to was actually a college preparatory school but I--it just wasn't as challenging as I would have, would have expected it to be. And it's unfortunate, but it, it just wasn't--I mean it probably would have been, I mean if I had to compare it, it probably would have been compared to just a regular public school in your, you know, average suburban community. But in Newark in the inner city that was like the echelon of, of, of public schools. And it, it just, it wasn't really that challenging. I mean when I first got there I was getting straight A's, B's. And then after I kind of met people and, and realized it wasn't that hard I, I kind of slacked off and it was--I was okay with C's and B's. So it was--and, and I got by with C's and B's without not really doing much work at all. So I, I was like oh, that's cool--'cause, again, it wasn't like I really had a goal or direction. And it wasn't until I actually went to college that I refocused again and started getting straight A's again.$Now what about residency? Now, like the other two had discussed that as being tough part of--.$$Yeah, residency is, is, is hard, too. Again, though, the residency that I chose was a very academic residency [at Robert Wood Johsnon University Hospital] and it was a little, it was more friendly on, on the wear and tear part. So--.$$Okay, so Sam [Sampson Davis] had the like emergency room (unclear).$$Yeah, I, I was internal medicine. So we--I was, I was in emergency room a lot because after Sam would evaluate them, he would pass them on to me--not literally, 'cause we're in different hospitals, but the emergency room docs would pass them on to me. So, I was also in emergency room admitting patients, you know, chest pain, heart attacks. And once he stabilized them, then I had to deal with the, the aftermath of it. Or, oftentimes they can't necessarily be stabilized in emergency room and so once they get in there, once he diagnoses them with whatever they have, then it's my, my job to, to stabilize them. So, it was, it was always challenging. And when I was in--I did like a lot of ICU rotations. And ICU is intensive care unit where people are obviously deathly ill, so that was challenging. But it was interesting; it was fun. I learned a lot and, and I did a lot of good. So it was, it was--my perspective on it was a little different. It was hard, but the perspective that I had was that, you know, I'm learning so much and I'm never going to have this experience again in my life. So I enjoyed it.

Noel Mayo

Philadelphia native industrial designer Noel Mayo is the owner and president of Noel Mayo Associates, Inc., the first African American industrial design firm in the United States, whose clients include NASA, IBM, the Department of Commerce and Agriculture, Black and Decker, the Museum of American Jewish History and the Philadelphia International Airport.

Mayo was the first black graduate to receive a B.S. degree in Industrial Design from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1960. He later became chairperson of this department, making him the first African American chairperson of an industrial design program in the United States. He held that post for eleven years and was awarded an honorary D.F.A. degree from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1981.

Mayo has been a regularly published writer magazines and journals such as Innovation, The Wall Street Journal, and The Minority Business Journal. He has been a speaker at various international design symposiums and serves on the boards of numerous professional organizations. He was named the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Art and Design Technology in 1989 at Ohio State University where he taught product, interior and graphic design. Noel advocates alternative methods for education, accelerated learning and information distribution using new technologies and has a personal interest in developing synergistic learning products that include music, color, light and psychology. He has been instrumental in establishing various mentoring programs for minorities and establishing a directory of minority professionals in industrial, graphic, interior and architectural design.

Accession Number

A2002.186

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/5/2002

Last Name

Mayo

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Sunnycrest Farm for Negro Boys

University of the Arts

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Noel

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

MAY03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/30/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Falafel

Short Description

Industrial designer and design professor Noel Mayo (1937 - ) is the owner and president of Noel Mayo Associates, Inc., the first African American industrial design firm in the United States. Mayo was also the first African American to receive a B.S.degree in industrial design. Mayo was instrumental in establishing various mentoring programs for minorities.

Employment

Noel Mayo Associates

Philadelphia College of Art

Ohio State University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Noel Mayo's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Noel Mayo lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Noel Mayo talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Noel Mayo talks about his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Noel Mayo talks about his middle school years

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Noel Mayo describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Noel Mayo talks about Mrs. Valentine, an influential grade school teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Noel Mayo talks about his activities as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Noel Mayo talks about becoming an industrial designer

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Noel Mayo describes his industrial design firm, Noel Mayo Associates, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Noel Mayo describes an exhibit in Casablanca, Morocco

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Noel Mayo describes his design philosophy and his partnership with Lutron Electronics

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Noel Mayo talks about the general public's unawareness about industrial design

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Noel Mayo talks about the ubiquity of industrial design

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Noel Mayo talks about logo design and famous logos

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Noel Mayo talks about the Organization of Black Designers and his efforts to document the work of black designers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Noel Mayo talks about a design challenge and his design process

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Noel Mayo talks about the importance of adding cultural diversity to the design world

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Noel Mayo talks about his aesthetic, the home office furniture system, and his design displays

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Noel Mayo talks about racial discrimination in the design business and HistoryMaker Charles Harrison

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Noel Mayo talks about the challenge of getting clients

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Noel Mayo talks about lighting and color

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Noel Mayo describes the power of the color

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Noel Mayo talks about the impact of typeface

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Noel Mayo talks about his hopes as an industrial designer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Noel Mayo talks about designs with long-lasting and widespread impact

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Noel Mayo reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Noel Mayo describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Noel Mayo talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

9$1

DATitle
Noel Mayo talks about becoming an industrial designer
Noel Mayo talks about the challenge of getting clients
Transcript
So when you were ready for high school graduation, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do--$$Uh-huh.$$--Or had you done enough art where you thought you learned enough?$$Well, in working on this effort to get a portfolio together for the scholarship, the high school instructor asked us to write a term paper on a subject that we were interested in, a part of which we didn't know anything about. I was working my way through high school, delivering art supplies for those cities the largest art store to ad agencies and art directors all in the city, center city. And the owner of the art store would let me take any new book home that I wanted, long as I brought it back undamaged and so I could go through any book, the library didn't even have these. And I would take them home every week. And I knew about illustration and painting and sculpture and lithography and all of that. And I discovered this one little area called industrial design. So as a result the requirement on the term paper was that you had to interview three people in the field and do the history of the area, whatever the subject was. So I discovered the field, interviewed three professionals who were practicing in the city, decided that's what I wanted to do when I went to college. By the time I finished the term paper, I got an "A" on it and I got the scholarship. I interviewed the head of the program at the college as one of my people. And went into the major, much to the chagrin of my family, because they said "how many negro designers are there?" and I said "I have no idea." So they went to the college and said we want to talk to the dean and want you to tell this young man how many people have graduated in this program who are African American, at that point negro. And he said, none. And they said, how many tried. And he said only two in the history of the program. One flunked out and one quit. So I said what's that got to do with me. I didn't understand it. And they said well, you know, are there any jobs, and the dean said well, I don't know, never had anybody graduate. So at any point, I decided to take it. I wound up being an "A" student in it. And because I had done the term paper, I knew more than most of the faculty about the history of industrial design, and pursued that from that point on. I wound up working the summer of my junior year for the head of the department with one of the faculty from the program, and the two owners decided to go off to--one went to Europe to--Bill Sclaroff (ph.) was a top designer, went off to Europe to marry a German girl and his partner, my faculty head, went to Europe on a project in Algeria, and said, here's the office--I'm a junior in college, here's the clients that are gonna to be calling, just take care of it. I didn't know anything. The faculty member who was working with me said this is insane and he quit, left me with the office, the checkbooks, everything, and I wound up taking on projects by myself, hiring other students and paying them and paying projects through. And it was a successful summer. I actually made money. So that was my kind of introduction in junior year to the field, first hand. And then after graduation, I went to work for the office, and that's the firm I own today [Noel Mayo Associates, Inc.].$I was talking about getting clients is part of the challenge for any designer and in particular for minority designers, finding, getting access to publicity and that sort of thing is one the critical issues because the typical journals do not publish photographs of the designer, they'll use the designer's name. Architects are saying they also have that problem, black architects typically get most of their work through competitive bid for city state or federal dollars where there--it's not an old boy network, they can actually bid and have a better chance. There is a firm in Columbus [Ohio] called Moody Nolan that is--Moody and Nolan are both African American. One's an architect from OSU [Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio] and the other is an engineer, and they have grown a business of over a hundred employees to the point where they're not on minority bid lists, they go straight after major contracts from major companies around the country. And to my surprise 98 percent of their employees are white, you know, they're there, but hiring and finding blacks who come into the business, they just haven't been able to do as well. So that's another kind of issue. At one point my firm [Noel Mayo Associates, Inc.] was predominantly white, because I couldn't find black kids. If they're really good, I wanted them to get as far as they could and if they could go in a major corporation, I thought that would be better. In more recent years, I've tried to focus on bringing in minority people who are talented. Tony Ute(ph.) in the other room is from Cameroon, and he got his masters under me at Ohio State and I hired him, he's just terrific talent. We're looking at kind of planning issues for community groups, for profit groups, where you can go in and say this is a concept for a hotel that'll make it more successful than the traditional hotel. And we can design the entire thing.