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Barbara Seals Nevergold

Nonprofit executive Barbara Seals Nevergold was born on April 19, 1944 in Alexandria, Louisiana to Willie B. and Clara Ellis Seals. A graduate of Buffalo, New York Public Schools, she received her B.S. degree in French education from Buffalo State College, and M.Ed. degrees in French education and counseling education from University at Buffalo. Seals Nevergold obtained her Ph.D. degree in counseling education from the University at Buffalo. She also studied French at Laval University in Quebec, Canada and University of Dijon in Dijon, France.

She began her career as a French teacher and worked as a guidance counselor in the Buffalo School System. She served in management roles at educational and non-profit organizations including as executive director of Niagara Frontier Association for Sickle Cell Disease, Inc.; vice president for Children's Services at Friendship House of Western New York, Inc.; chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Buffalo and Erie County, Inc.; regional director for Berkshire Farm Center and director of Student Support Services at University of Buffalo's Educational Opportunity Center. She held adjunct instructional positions at Empire State College and University at Buffalo.

In 1999, she co-founded with Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram, The Uncrowned Queens Institute, to promote the collection and dissemination of the individual and collective histories of African American women and their organizations. In 2019, the Institute observed its second decade of researching, documenting and preserving the regional history of Western New York’s and Oklahoma’s African American communities. The Institute’s website is found at (www.uncrownedcommunitybuilders.com). From 2012–2019, Seals Nevergold served on the Buffalo Board of Education; four of those years as President.

She authored several articles and books including: An Uncrowned Hero: The Untold Story of James Benjamin Parker, 2018; The Power of the Pen: Crusading Journalist A.J. Smitherman Gave a Voice to His People, 2013; Nevergold, Barbara A. Seals and Bertram, Peggy Brooks, editors. Go Tell Michelle: African American women write to the New First Lady, 2009; Nevergold and Brooks-Bertram, Uncrowned Community Builders: Preserving Regional History, One Person at a Time; Nevergold, Barbara A. Seals and Bertram, Peggy Brooks. Uncrowned Queens: African American Community Builders Series, Vols. 1- 4, 2002-2007.

She has served on numerous local and national boards, including The Council of Great City Schools, NYS Conference Big Five School Districts; Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Buffalo Psychiatric Center. She has held memberships in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Erie County Chapter of the Links, Inc., and St. John Baptist Church. Seals Nevergold has received numerous awards including: Buffalo State College Distinguished Alumnus; Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award for Go, Tell Michelle; NYS Governor’s Women of Excellence Award; Erie County Bar Association, Special Justice Award; Western New York Women’s Hall of Fame; NYS Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award; National Women’s Hall of Fame, Keeper of the Flame Award; Community Service Award Buffalo Chapter NAACP.

Seals Nevergold and her husband Paul R. Nevergold have two adult children, Alanna and Kyle.

Barbara Seals Nevergold was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 21, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.078

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/21/2018

Last Name

Nevergold

Maker Category
Middle Name

Seals

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

State University of New York at Buffalo

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Alexandria

HM ID

NEV01

Favorite Season

Late Spring, Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tampa, Florida

Favorite Quote

Service, To Be Of Service To All Mankind

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/19/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Buffalo

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

N/A

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Barbara Seals Nevergold (1944- ) served as president of the Buffalo Board of Education and previously served in management roles at the University of Buffalo, Berkshire Farm Center and Planned Parenthood of Buffalo.

Employment

Buffalo Schools Board

Buffalo Public Schools

Berkshire Farms

Favorite Color

Pink

Nancy Lane

Corporate executive Nancy Lane was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Gladys Lane and Samuel Lane. She received her B.S. degree in public relations and journalism from Boston University in 1962, and went on to earn her M.P.A. degree at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1975, Lane completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Lane began her career at the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. She then worked as a project manager for the National Urban League, where she developed the Black Executive Exchange Program. From 1972 to 1973, Lane was the second vice president and head of executive recruitment at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. She became the vice president of personnel at New York Off-Track Betting Corporation in 1973, before joining the administration department at the Johnson & Johnson Products corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1975. The following year, Lane was named vice president of human resources and administration, making her the first woman to assume the role. She also served on the board of directors of Ortho Diagnostic Systems, a division of Johnson & Johnson. She was the first female vice president, and first African American, to sit on Johnson & Johnson’s management board. Lane served as vice president of government affairs at Johnson & Johnson’s corporate headquarters until her retirement in 2000.

Lane held several board positions, including on the board of governors at Rutgers University, the National Board of Directors for the NAACP. She also served as the lead NGO representative at the United Nations. She also served on the board of Bloomfield College, the board of trustees for Freedom House, the board of directors for the SEED Foundation, and the board of Studio Museum in Harlem. She was as an advisor for The International Review of African American Art, as well as a co-chair of the Stieglitz Society at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 1987, Lane received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, which is the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus.

Nancy Lane was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 28, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.041

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/28/2016

Last Name

Lane

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Boston University

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Harvard Business School

Roxbury Memorial High School

Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School

First Name

Nancy

Birth City, State, Country

Alexandria

HM ID

LAN10

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York City

Favorite Quote

It's Up To Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Almost Everything

Short Description

Corporate executive Nancy Lane (1944 - ) worked for Johnson & Johnson Products for over twenty-five years, and also served on the boards of Rutgers University, Bloomfield College, the NAACP and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Employment

North American Representative of the International Union of Students

National Urban League, Westinghouse Broadcasting Company

National Urban League

Chase Manhattan Bank

New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation

Johnson & Johnson

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nancy Lane's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nancy Lane lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nancy Lane describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nancy Lane describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nancy Lane talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nancy Lane describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nancy Lane remembers her neighbors in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nancy Lane talks about her parents' careers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nancy Lane describes her early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nancy Lane remembers her neighbors in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nancy Lane recalls working at the Boston Public Library

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Nancy Lane describes her undergraduate education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Nancy Lane talks about her early understanding of race

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Nancy Lane remembers studying abroad in Norway, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nancy Lane remembers studying abroad in Norway, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nancy Lane remembers her experiences in Austria

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nancy Lane describes the start of her business career

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nancy Lane recalls working at an educational organization in the Netherlands

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nancy Lane remembers joining the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nancy Lane talks about the changes in her personality and aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nancy Lane remembers her master's degree program at the University of Pittsburgh

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nancy Lane remembers moving to Greenwich Village in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nancy Lane remembers creating the National Urban League's Black Executive Exchange Program

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nancy Lane describes the National Urban League's Black Executive Exchange Program

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nancy Lane describes her career at the National Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nancy Lane recalls becoming an executive recruiter at Chase Manhattan Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nancy Lane describes her experiences in Chase Manhattan Bank's executive dining room

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nancy Lane remembers joining the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nancy Lane recalls the executive training program at Harvard Business School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nancy Lane remembers joining the board of the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nancy Lane talks about the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nancy Lane talks about the founding of the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nancy Lane remembers the directors of the Studio Museum in Harlem, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nancy Lane remembers the directors of the Studio Museum in Harlem, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nancy Lane talks about the leadership of Thelma Golden at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nancy Lane describes the Studio Museum in Harlem Gala

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nancy Lane talks about her role at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nancy Lane remembers joining Johnson and Johnson Products

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nancy Lane recalls becoming the first female vice president at Johnson and Johnson Products

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nancy Lane talks about her civic engagement in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nancy Lane describes the highlights of her career at Johnson and Johnson Products

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nancy Lane reflects upon her career at Johnson and Johnson Products

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nancy Lane remembers the Chicago Tylenol murders

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nancy Lane talks about her retirement from Johnson and Johnson Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nancy Lane talks about African American businessman H. Naylor Fitzhugh

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nancy Lane reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nancy Lane shares her advice to African American youth

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nancy Lane reflects upon her life and plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Nancy Lane talks about her interest in art

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Nancy Lane remembers creating the National Urban League's Black Executive Exchange Program
Nancy Lane talks about her role at the Studio Museum in Harlem
Transcript
So you work as project manager for the National Urban League--$$Right.$$--for, for about two years?$$Well you know, it was supposed to be for a year. They gave me the job of the century. I had an assignment they called the Summer Fellowship Program, so we know that African Americans who taught at historically black colleges [HBCUs] often had to teach subjects where they might not have had corporate experience- experiences themselves. So, for example, there was a professor who taught applied mathematics at Grambling [Grambling College; Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana], and that was when they said it was harder to make the, the team, the, the music team, the band, than it was to make the football team at Grambling. And, so, anyway, I guess they had so much--$$They had great--yes, sure.$$--talent in football. You know, and so on. So, anyway, my job was to visit the college campuses, interview faculty, and talk to them about spending summers in industry, and then, during the fall, work with corporations that were tied to the Urban League and talk to them about hiring for a summer one of these faculty members; and the pitch was, hire this person. Help them expand the program and the curriculum at the college that they're at, and when you go back to that college to recruit, you've got your person on the campus who knows the students, who knows your corporation, and who will be your, your onsite recruiter for you. And so--and then what would happen, so my job was in the fall to go to the college campuses, in the winter to work with the corporations in terms of making matches; and then in the summer, visit the professors on assignment. How is it going? What did you like? What would you like to have that would be a different kind of experience? And to say to the companies, can we sign you up again for next year? So I did that for the Urban League, and I guess it was maybe after two years--you see, I couldn't leave the job. I mean, you would agree. That was a job. You're making a contribution to others. You're meeting faculty, et cetera, and so many areas. The head of the business department at Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] had never worked in industry at that time. He was an economist, wonderful man, Dr. E.B. Williams, wonderful. People who know Morehouse know him. And, and so anyway (background noise), what happened was that I said to myself, but when these professors come back to their campus, they're going to have new ideas about what should happen, but their ideas might meet some resistance. What can I do to make a difference for them and also to ensure that the programs are going to be effective? And so I thought about it, and in those days, executive in residence programs did not include black colleges, and so I created what became known--and ran for forty-five years--I created what became known as the Black Executive Exchange Program, and so with that program--it's the joy of my life--with that program, we would, you know, when I--when it was just an idea, I said to black executives I knew--of course, mostly males in those days in the '60s [1960s]--I said to them, "How would you like to spend some time on a college campus?" And they said, "Well, we'd like to, but I wouldn't dare leave my job for any period of time." "You wouldn't leave for a month?" "I wouldn't leave for a week," they'd tell me, "It might not be there when I got back." And so I then thought to myself, how do I get around that problem?$And so as a board member, what is your role in supporting the evolution of the museum [Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, New York]?$$So my focus has been in different areas. As I mentioned, I was chair of the board, and I think--and before that, too, my focus has been on recruiting talent for our board; and so people sometimes would give us names, and other times, it would be somebody I would see. So I don't want to say the name, but I was chatting once with someone, and, and they said, "Gee, have you ever recruited this person," and the guy was standing right there beside us, "for your board?" I said, "I'm embarrassed to say no, but we'll go after it now." A longtime board member now. And so we--so I was interested in, in recruiting people. [HistoryMaker] Carol Sutton Lewis heads our nominating committee, and I serve on that committee, so that's one of the areas that I'm focusing on. I'm focusing on the, the building campaign. Yeah. Master, master--major, major, major, major.$$When will the--will--when do you imagine that will come about?$$They tell us to say soon.$$(Laughter).$$(Laughter) But you know that our architect is David Adjaye, who's just done the--$$Yes.$$--Smithsonian [National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.], and we've had great support from a number of organizations and people here in New York City [New York, New York], and so we're very excited about it. And so we said, where should we be with our new building? And we said, where else but in our current location? So we'll be taking down the new--the current building; and at the suggestion also of [HistoryMaker] Theaster Gates, we are going to incorporate a work of art that's reflective of the old building, our current building in--as a piece of art--in our new building.$$Huh.$$Yes. And so that's going to be incorporated into the design and on exhibition permanently. And there are a couple of other pieces that I expect will always be up such as our 'Me/We' piece--that neon piece, beautiful piece that Glenn Ligon did; and so, so I'm focused on the building, and I'm also focused on the acquisitions for our collection. And I'm so proud of our committee. We have a great committee, and I would say we have about thirty-odd people on that committee; and the joy is that when Thelma [HistoryMaker Thelma Golden] and the museum staff present work to us to consider purchasing, and we always purchase one work from each of the artists in residence, by the way, so that we will always have their early days, like Kehinde Wiley. We have--$$Yes.$$--early purse--piece from Kehinde. And Kehinde, when he was an artist in residence--$$I remember.$$--and he also lived in the--in his studio because times were tough for Kehinde then, and now look at him, you know, international star. But, anyway, so, so my focus is also on building our collection; and the committee not only--the funds that they contribute each year are the funds that we use to purchase work, and then so often at our meetings--and we had one about three weeks ago--what will happen is, we don't have enough money to buy something, and someone will say (gesture), "Let me buy that and contribute it to the museum," and so that happens repeatedly at our meetings, and I think of our permanent collection, I've never asked Thelma, but I think it's fair to say--I'm a little biased--but I think it's fair to say a good 30 percent of that permanent collection has come through our acquisitions committee, so that's just been wonderful.$$And so are all purchases made by the museum approved by the board?$$Technically. And like other museums. You know, there's a meeting at which Thelma--when she does her annual report, she will then report to them on the acquisitions and what's the--additions to the collection, which includes not only those we purchase but work that have been donated to the museum by others who care about us, our mission, and who admire the artists that we do.$$Excellent.$$And so that's when we take an official vote.$$Excellent.

Brig. Gen. Leo A. Brooks

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Leo Brooks was born on August 9, 1932 in Alexandria, Virginia. Brooks was raised in Alexandria where his family has a long military tradition, dating back to Brooks’ great-grandfather. Brooks attended Virginia State University where he was also a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Brooks graduated from Virginia State University in 1954 and was a distinguished military graduate from ROTC. General Brooks was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps.

During his first overseas assignment, he received a Regular Army commission and was detailed to the Infantry, where he served as a platoon leader with the 2nd Infantry Division in Alaska. Following his Infantry detail, he rejoined the Quartermaster Branch and commanded two companies. His initial Pentagon assignment was as a budget liaison to the U.S. Congress for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, HQDA. He served two tours in Vietnam, first as an advisor to the Vietnamese Army and later as a Battalion Commander. Other key staff assignments included: Deputy Secretary of the General Staff for the Army Materiel Command and member of J4, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Considered one of the Army’s premier logisticians, his key senior-level assignments included four commands over a ten year period: Commander, Sacramento Army Depot; Commander, 13th Corps Support Command, Fort Hood, Texas; Commanding General, US Army Troop Support Agency, where he directed 178 commissary stores; and Commanding General of the Defense Personnel Support Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he directed the procurement and management of all food, clothing, textile, and medical supplies and equipment for all the military services. He retired while serving as a Major General in 1984 to accept an appointment as the Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia. Since he retired before serving three full years in grade, he was retired as a Brigadier General. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.

General Brooks holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia State University, a Master of Science in Financial Management from George Washington University and the Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from New England School of Law. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the National War College in Washington, D.C. General Brooks’ family is the only African American family in the history of the United States to have a father and two sons to attain the rank of general in the army-BG Leo A. Brooks, Jr. (USA-Ret.) and General Vincent K. Brooks, Commander, US Army Pacific. He, and his wife, Naomi Lewis Brooks also have a daughter, Attorney Marquita K. Brooks. In retirement, he has served on many boards and councils. He currently is an elected member of the American Bar Association Council on Legal Education and Accreditation of law schools.

U.S. Army Brigadier General (Ret.) Leo A. Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.169

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/22/2013 |and| 12/2/2013

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

George Washington Carver High School

Central State University

Virginia State University

National War College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Leo

Birth City, State, Country

Alexandria

HM ID

BRO55

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

The Buck Stops Here.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/9/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Major general (retired) Brig. Gen. Leo A. Brooks (1932 - ) served in the United States Army for over thirty years. His family was the first African American family with three members that have achieved the rank of General within two generations.

Employment

United States Army

Alfred Street Baptist Church

Fairfax County Elections

Philadelphia City Government

Favorite Color

Black, Gold

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his father's education and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about how his parents met and his family home

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the neighborhood he grew up in

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about Parker-Gray High School and integration in Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his younger brother, Francis Brooks

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses the role of education in his family's success and describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about playing music and being a Boy Scout as a youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. comments on his primary and secondary education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers the stern lecture he got from his father about improving his grades

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. speaks about his teachers and mentors in high school and college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about being president of his fraternity and student government at Virgina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes campus life at Virginia State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses Petersburg, Virginia's military history

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his experience in ROTC

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about the first unit he was in at Fort Lee in Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about enlisting into the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his experience in the 23rd infantry regiment at Fort Richardson in Alaska

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his family, his first ROTC assignment at Central State College and going to Vietnam

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses the history of Wilberforce University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about being an advisor in Vietnam during the war, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about being an advisor in Vietnam during the war, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses pursuing his graduate studies back in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about race relations and the greater opportunities for advancement in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his experiences as battalion commander, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his experiences as battalion commander, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his work at the Pentagon, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his work at the Pentagon, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his military awards and the problem of heroine amongst U.S. soldiers in Vietnam

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his second tour of duty in Vietnam and returning to the United States

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his attendance at the National War College in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his sons' high school experience in California

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his son, Vincent's college admissions experience, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his son, Vincent's college admissions experience, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. reflects upon his tour in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers his return to the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about becoming Cambodian desk officer for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes U.S. involvement in Cambodia

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about how relocating to California affected his children

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls his promotion to colonel

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls a lawsuit during his U.S. military career

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the U.S. Army's Total Force Policy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls gender integration in the U.S. military

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about gender discrimination in the U.S. military

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls the difficulties of motivating his officers

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers organizing the inventory management systems for the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers Robert M. Shoemaker

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls his appointment to brigadier general

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about the promotion process in the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers his daughter learning to ride a horse

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the responsibilities of the Troops Support Agency Commander

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about the commissary business in the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the procurement process for government manufacturing contracts

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers overseeing two automation installation contracts for the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the technological developments of computers for the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers becoming city manager for the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his position as city manager in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers the cabinet of Philadelphia Mayor Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his role as city manager in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers the MOVE crisis in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls taking care of his father

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his retirement

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his work after retirement

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his family

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his sons who reached the rank of general officers in the U.S. Army

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. reflects upon his professional legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his marriage

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Leo Brooks remembers the stern lecture he got from his father about improving his grades
Leo Brooks describes his experiences as battalion commander, pt. 1
Transcript
Now this is 1938 or so when you started school. You started school in '38' (1938)?$$Yes, yeah. So I used to keep the class, you know, supplied with things of that nature. And I had a teacher who does--the post office in Alexandria is named after--her name was Helen Day who when you did your multiplication tables or what not, you stood before her and she sat in a chair, and she had these flash cards, and she would raise the flash card up, and you would have to say nine times five is forty-five, eight times eight is sixty-four, whatever came up. If you got it right she'd put it in one pile and if you got it wrong, she'd put it in another pile. At the end of the pile, she would count the wrongs, and she had a strap about an inch and a half wide, and you held out your hand and for everyone you missed, you got a real slam right into the palm of your hand with that strap. So it was--you were incentivized to learn your multiplication tables. Well, one day I missed several. And so at the end of the day, she was out of the room, I packed up the tadpoles that I had taken to school, put them back in the bottle and had them at my desk. Well, when she walked in the room, one of the little girls says, oh, Miss Day, he's taking the tadpoles home. So she and I fell out. Well, we fell back in later, because she and my dad had knew each other very well. But I was bent on being, as I said earlier, respected, but I didn't quite know how off times to do it. When I got to high school, the first semester, I got my report card back, and of course we had show and tell at my house, you walked in with the report card and you stood at attention, as it were, while my parents reviewed the report card and you were praised or hazed right there. Well, I brought this report card home from the first semester in high school. And now I had been already working with my father, so I was mechanically oriented anyway, but I had a "B" in shop a "C" in English, I had another "B", I don't know, history or something, but all the rest "Cs". Well, my father and mother sat me down this time. By then my two older brothers had gone off to college and my sister was not at home at the time, so it was just my mother and father and I. And my father said, "Son, this is ridiculous, it cannot happen again. Here's what we're going to do." Now, I'm looking over at my mother who's sitting there with tears in her eyes, because they obviously have already discussed this strategy before they called me in. He said "You're going to come home from school every day, go into your room and study until suppertime. When supper is over you will do the dishes, when it's your turn and then you will study until eight o'clock and then you will go to bed, you won't go out and play. On Saturdays you'll be able to go out and play from 10 to 12, at 12 you come in and you begin to study until six. Sunday after church you will study. And you will do this for the next semester. Now you don't have to do it--now he's very stern at this moment," his voice is raising a bit, I recall it as if it were yesterday. "You don't have to do it, you can quit school, get out and get a job and pay your mother thirty dollars a month to live here and feed you or you can get out of the house." Now, the tears are really running down my mother's face and I'm as afraid as Goldie Locks before the big bad wolf. (laughing) So I took the first alternative and went from a bungling average to an "A" student.$$How old are you at this point?$$Well, I was about 14 years old, 13, 14 years old, yeah, yeah.$Okay. All right, so this is a time, I guess, as we get towards the late '60s' (1960s), there're actually riots on aircraft carriers and that sort of thing, but not in the army?$$Yeah, well, you're getting up to three assignments later when I went back to Vietnam. That was beginning to subside, but you had this thing, well I'm getting ahead, but we had this thing they used to call the dap(sp) where these soldiers bumped fists and elbows and things for two or three sometimes four or five minutes. And they would do it anywhere. They'd stand up in the dining facility and do it, you know. And I went to the battalion that I took over in December, 1970, before the other guy gave it up. And we were sitting in the dining room, it was about 20 officers, I think I was the only African American in the crowd, and here are these GIs standing up right next to us doing this dap. I said nothing. When I took over I told my sergeant major who is this highest non-commissioned officer in the unit, I said I want you to put the word out that I don't want any more dapping in my dining facilities, don't want any more dapping in my recreation halls, if you want to dap, you either dap outdoors or you dap in your barracks. It all went away.$$Now why did you issue an order. Now this was something that American soldiers were doing?$$Because the purpose that when you do that in the dining facility, here are two people sitting here eating, they're standing right beside them and two people slapping fists back and forth. It's a disturbance. It would be just as well stand up doing a dance, you know. And it was being done as an intentional affront, and I didn't want that. So they stopped. They did it--do in the barracks, but don't do it in the dining facility. Be just as though if somebody started singing a hillbilly song in the middle of while I'm trying to eat my dinner. It wouldn't made no difference to me, you know, what it was. And I had several other things in that nature that I did. You have to wear a head cover and I had an officer's call--and NCO [non-commissioned officer] call and I said if a soldier is walking down the street and he doesn't have his cap on and you let him do it and don't stop him and challenge him, you just said it's okay to not wear your hat, that's what you said, now do you mean that, no, you don't mean that. Well, then you have no choice but to say something. About four days later I was walking through the compound, and I heard this sergeant say you better put your hat on before Colonel [Leo] Brooks sees you. I let the soldier go by and I grabbed the sergeant and I said, that was the wrong answer. The answer is you better put your hat on before I, the sergeant, sees you. It's not because of Colonel Brooks, it's because it's right to wear your cover. And I used several other homespun techniques of that nature to put my personality on that unit.

Earl Francis Lloyd

Earl Francis “Big Cat” Lloyd, the first African American to play in a National Basketball Association game, was born on April 3, 1928 in Alexandria, Virginia. Lloyd was raised by his father, Theodore Benjamin Lloyd, and mother, Daisy Mitchell Lloyd, in the Berg area of Alexandria. Lloyd’s mother’s wisdom influenced him to become a good student and an outstanding athlete at Lyles-Crouch Elementary School and Parker-Gray High School. His coach, Louis Randolph Johnson, helped Lloyd to enroll at West Virginia State University (WVSU) after his 1946 high school graduation. The speedy defensive-minded Lloyd, at 6’7” tall, led WVSU to two CIAA Conference and Tournament Championships in 1948 and 1949. Lloyd was named All-Conference three times and was All-American twice, as highlighted by the Pittsburgh Courier in 1949 and 1950. Lloyd graduated from WVSU with his B.S. degree in physical education in 1950.

In 1950, Lloyd was among the first three black players drafted by an NBA team when he was signed by the Washington Capitols, and became the first black to play in an NBA game on October 31, 1950 as part of Washington coach Horace “Bones” McKinney’s starting five. Drafted by the U.S. Army in 1951, Lloyd captured four U.S. Army basketball titles. Returning to the NBA in 1952, Lloyd and teammate Jim Tucker became the first African Americans to win an NBA title in 1955 with Dolph Schayes and the Syracuse Nationals. That year, Lloyd averaged 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds for Syracuse, beating the Fort Wayne Pistons four games to three in a seven game series for the NBA title. Lloyd closed out his playing career with the Detroit Pistons from 1958 to 1960. Over his professional career, Lloyd played in over 560 games in nine seasons and averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

In 1960, Lloyd served as assistant coach and scout for the Detroit Pistons. As a scout, he helped draft Bailey Howell, but failed to interest Detroit in future legends Earl “the Pearl” Monroe and Willis Reed. Lloyd served as the NBA’s first non-playing coach with the Pistons from 1971 to 1973. After basketball, he worked for Chrysler and as a job-placement administrator with the Detroit Public Schools. Further recognition of Lloyd began when his name appeared as the answer to a question on television’s Jeopardy quiz show in 1988. In the 1990s, Lloyd worked for the steel and auto parts company of former Piston, Dave Bing, who had played for Lloyd during his years at the helm of the Pistons.

Now retired and living in Tennessee, Lloyd and his wife, Ginny, have one grown child.

Lloyd was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 16, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.093

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/16/2007

Last Name

Lloyd

Maker Category
Middle Name

Francis

Occupation
Schools

Parker-Gray High School

Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy

West Virginia State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Earl

Birth City, State, Country

Alexandria

HM ID

LLO01

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Basketball Association

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

It Gets No Better Than That.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

4/3/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Crossville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Smothered Pork Chops

Death Date

2/26/2015

Short Description

Basketball player Earl Francis Lloyd (1928 - 2015 ) was the first African American to play in a game in the National Basketball Association.

Employment

U.S. Army

National Basketball Association

Detroit Pistons

Detroit Public Schools

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:273,8:637,13:15743,244:19520,261:20420,272:38775,455:49188,660:90900,1176:94610,1261:95030,1268:102680,1350:149084,1866:163450,2048$0,0:2720,51:5440,86:36154,491:42772,586:59836,890:69114,1112:126680,1656:127715,1664:128405,1671:183930,2264
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Earl Francis Lloyd's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his older brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his family's impact on his basketball career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers his schooling in Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing sports at Parker-Gray High School in Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers Coach Louis Randolph Johnson

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the community of Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his high school basketball championship game

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing basketball at Parker-Gray High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers his high school teammate, Oliver Ellis, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his high school teammate, Oliver Ellis, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his decision to attend West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing basketball at West Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about historically black college basketball programs

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his basketball playing style

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about his basketball training routine

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls the status of black sports stars during his college years

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls barnstorming black basketball teams

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his community at West Virginia State College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his social life at West Virginia State College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls being selected in the NBA Draft

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about the culture of professional basketball

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his experience of discrimination at NBA training camp

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his African American heroes

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls being drafted by the Washington Capitols

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the racial discrimination in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing for Coach Horace "Bones" McKinney

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls joining the Syracuse Nationals

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing for the Syracuse Nationals

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls winning an NBA championship with the Syracuse Nationals

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers being traded to the Detroit Pistons

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his career with the Detroit Pistons

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls Coach Dick McGuire's departure from the Detroit Pistons

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about scouting for the Detroit Pistons

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about Detroit Pistons center Reggie Harding

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls scouting Dave Bing and Cazzie Russell

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the Detroit Pistons star player, Bob Lanier

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers his tenure as head coach of the Detroit Pistons

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the challenges of coaching in the NBA

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his career after leaving the NBA

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers serving as a job training program administrator

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls counseling young, African American job applicants

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about his friendship with Dave Bing

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes Dave Bing's community programs in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes Dave Bing's community programs in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd reflects upon the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Earl Francis Lloyd narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Earl Francis Lloyd describes his family's impact on his basketball career
Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing for the Syracuse Nationals
Transcript
Now are your other family members tall? Now you're 6'5" (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, I'm 6'7", just about.$$6'7", okay. All right.$$Well from what I understand in my immediate family, I'm the only tall person. But I understand that that my father's father, my grandfather, was a hulk. You know he was that big 6'6" black dude that everybody was afraid of. That's the only recollection I have of him.$$Okay.$$And that's where I got the genes that made me this size. But my mother [Daisy Mitchell Lloyd], she's a short lady man but it didn't matter. I mean she had tremendous presence, tremendous presence man. And, and what I really appreciate about her the most, she had a tremendous affinity for young people. I mean a lot of old folks, "Man these young kids, this, that and the other," you know, and to the day she died man, she would tell you that most young people who are messed up were messed up by some messed up adults. That was her mantra, you know, I mean and the young kids that I grew up with playing ball with man they--I mean man this lady was like the Holy Grail, man. So when people ask me what person had the single most effect on me, and they expect you to say--'cause you an athlete, they expect you to say my coach--high school coach, tremendous influence. Man, that lady at home man, and just to give you an example, when you play three sports, I mentioned this earlier, you're going to different places a lot and she would tell me, "You know, you going someplace where people don't know us and they will invariably judge us by how you conduct yourself." And her last word was, "Do not embarrass this family." And she wasn't talking about winning or losing. I mean she was talking about you know in a gentlemanly fashion you know how you were trained to conduct yourself, don't forget that. So I--you know it's--I had a decent upbringing. My father [Theodore Lloyd] was there for us, you know, I mean he was a breadwinner, and my mother was--I called her killer Joe sometimes man (laughter), you know.$Things are different now in pro sports.$$Oh yeah.$$Black athletes often live far away from the black community--$$Very much so (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) the community doesn't see them anymore.$$Well, that's what high visibility will do to you now. You know it--and then guys, you know, they feel like you know like the guys that say, man I'm not, you know, I'm not a role model, and I understand it what they're saying because--and I always said that if you can't find a role model under your own roof, you got a problem. And I--man, I had enough role models man I could have started an--I could have started an agency, counting my parents [Daisy Mitchell Lloyd and Theodore Lloyd] and my teachers, my coaches right down the line man you know and people in the neighborhood who cared about you, you know it's--$$So who was on the Syracuse [Syracuse Nationals; Philadelphia 76ers] team and how did you all do?$$You mean how we do--$$Yeah in the league [National Basketball Association] and who was on your squad with you?$$Oh we played, we had a good team. We had one main player. We had one big name player, Dolph Schayes, but we had a supporting cast to him man that was second to none really. We won the world's championship in 1954, '55 [1955] and it's--the thing that amazes me is that other folks were amazed at us winning. But man, we had attitude, you know, our attitude was before we left the locker room every night to play, and defensively, we would say, you know, eighty or under, we gonna win and we held a lot of folks under eighty points so we won a lot of ballgames but what they don't understand is, it's very important, it's really, really important to know your role. But knowing is not enough. You got to accept your role. My job, rebound, run the floor, and I had to guard the top scorer on every team. And you were in for it man, look, I got a lot of rest 'cause man you chasing George Yardley and Paul Arizin and Elgin Baylor, man that's enough to run you crazy. But somebody had to do it, and on my team, I was better equipped to do it than most of the other guys. I mean first of all you're not gonna play Dolph, who was our top scorer, on their top scorer, you're wasting him, you know. So I--it was a challenge to me.

Charles Tribbett

Executive recruiter Charles Tribbett III was born on October 25, 1955, in Alexandria, Louisiana, to Charles Tribbett, Jr. and Dorris Morris Tribbett. Raised in the Chatham and Pill Hill neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois, Tribbett attended Neil Elementary School, St. Dorothy’s Catholic School, and graduated from Mendel Catholic High School in 1973. He received his B.S. degree in political science from Marquette University in 1977 and his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 1980.

Starting his career as a securities attorney, Tribbett worked for Reid and Priest; Mayer, Brown, and Platt; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. Tribbett became a partner at Abraham and Sons, a Chicago-based brokerage and investment management group, before joining the executive search firm of Russell Reynolds Associates in 1989. He is now co-leader of the firm’s CEO and Board Services Practice, specializing in CEOs, boards of directors, and diversity assignments.

A former chairman of the board for Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, in 2005 Tribbett was elected to the board of directors for the Northern Trust Company. Fortune magazine named Tribbett one of the 50 most powerful African American executives.

Charles and his wife Lisa reside in Chicago and have 3 adult children.

Tribbett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 21, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.073

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/21/2005

Last Name

Tribbett

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Mendel Catholic Preparatory High School

Jane A. Neil Elementary School

St. Dorothy School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Alexandria

HM ID

TRI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kenya

Favorite Quote

Never give up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/25/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Executive recruiter Charles Tribbett (1955 - ) was named by Fortune magazine as one of the fifty most powerful African American executives in America. Tribbett has served as the co-leader Russell Reynolds Associates' CEO and Board Services Practice, specializing in CEOs, boards of directors, and diversity assignments.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Tribbett interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Tribbett's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Tribbett talks about his ancestors on his mother's side

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Tribbett describes his mother's upbringing and background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Tribbett discusses his father and his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Tribbett recounts his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Tribbett recollects growing up in the Chatham neighborhood on Chicago's South Side

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Tribbett discusses his childhood personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Tribbett gives additional details about his church and its pastor Ken Smith

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Tribbett talks about his exposure to music and television while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Tribbett details his elementary and high school education experience

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Tribbett discusses his experience at Marquette University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Tribbett recounts his experience at University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Tribbett talks about his early career after law school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - CharlesTribbett discusses his law career through 1989 after returning to Chicago in 1983

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - CharlesTribbett recounts his affiliation with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in the1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Tribbett details his work with community service organizations in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Tribbett discusses his career with Russell Reynolds Associates

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Tribbett talks about his book on leadership traits

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Tribbet outlines changes in leadership traits from the past and present

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - CharlesTribbett talks about his philosophy of leadership and teambuilding

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Tribbett shares his opinions on diversity in business today

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Tribbett relates his experiences searching for CEOs and finding Kweisi Mfume for the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Tribbett shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Tribbett reflects on the trajectory of his career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - CharlesTribbett conveys his notion of a legacy through his career and his family life

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Tribbett discusses the nature of his job, executive search

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Tribbett considers how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Charles Tribbett recollects growing up in the Chatham neighborhood on Chicago's South Side
Charles Tribbett discusses the nature of his job, executive search
Transcript
You grew up on the South Side of Chicago, what neighborhood did you grow up in?$$I grew up in Chatham.$$Okay, now, Chatham has a reputation of being one of the cleanest, safest--in those days, the place where even people like Ernie Banks lived--.$$Mahalia Jackson, Ernie Banks, we were very fortunate because we lived in a very nice neighborhood. It was very safe. And as I said, we went to school there. I grew up there. And I loved the area. And today, most of the African Americans that, that lived in that area are still in the Chicago area. We all went to parties together. We all saw each other at churches together, and, and it was a great area.$$Okay.$$And it still is. It still has survived.$$What are some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Well, the sights for me, really were, were really on the South Side of Chicago, looking at, at schools like Kennedy-King [College, Chicago, Illinois] grow, you know, being built and looking at, back then, the, the best schools, if you didn't have a, the money to go to the private schools was to go to the Catholic schools. And we went to some of those Catholic schools, and, and it was a good education and participating on, in little league and, and, you know, in that area, in the Chatham area, it started off as a white area and gradually became a black area, so that, so I grew up in an area that became almost exclusively black. And most of the individuals in that area were like my father [Charles Tribbett, Jr.]. They were either dentists, they were doctors or they were lawyers, and they all knew each other. And so I grew up among that group. And back then, whites didn't really socialize a lot with blacks. So blacks formed their own social organizations, and there were--these organizations were called the Assembly, the, the Druids, the Snakes, they were all different organizations, but it was exclusively for blacks. And that was their way of getting to know each other better, to, to meet and, and have dinner together and to have to Christmas parties together and to bring spouses together, and, of course, to bring children together. And, and those are the memories that I have and being part of a family where you get to meet other families that are black, that are going to the same schools, that are living in the same neighborhood, and none of them lived on the South side, none of them lived on--I'm sorry--none of them lived on the North Side. They didn't live on the West Side. They were all concentrated somewhere between the Chatham area, which is around 83rd [Street] and Calumet [Avenue], almost going all the way over east, almost to the Lake [Michigan].$The last question we have is similar to legacy--is there anything else we should talk about before we ask the last question?$$I, I don't think so. We've covered a lot.$$Okay, well, it's something to think about. Now, I didn't know what you did, you know, not really until after I got in this chair. I started really thinking about what you really do (laughter). I'm not--.$$You know, no one knows really about executive search. It's, it's a, we, we are in a, a business that only an elite group knows about. The kind of work we do and just to talk with us, you'd have to earn a base compensation of at least two hundred thousand dollars, plus a bonus, plus stock. That's just sort of the entry-level positions that we work on. So when you think about it, for the most part, the big four to five firms, you're talking mainly to white individuals. There's not a large group of Hispanics or, or Koreans or Chinese or African Americans that are earning that. There are, they are there, but not a lot. The bulk are white males and some white females. So our group is, I mean we--I'm in a very elitist group. But I'm proud of being here because by being here, I have, I believe I've helped bring African Americans into this, into this world. And they're--into, into this space that I'm in. And there are a number of my friends now, that now know about Russell Reynolds [Associates] and our competitors and are now excited about it and want to get into this business, which I think they should, 'cause I think this business grew as a white-oriented business, like individuals, like my founder, Russell Reynolds, who went to his, his friend to say, let me work for you. And he was white, and he said, who do you want--you know, I'll find somebody for you. And who does he find? He finds friends that he knows that are all white. So they, it just grew, and we grew to become a large white, organization. And we placed individuals that were predominantly white into corporations. It was until minorities like myself and some others in, in our industry--and there are others, there are other partners at other large firms now, it's only then when we began to help to diversify this market.$$Well, it's a position and, it's--does it ever make you feel sort of, that people really don't understand what you're--I mean--well, you know they don't. I mean a lot of people really don't know what you're doing.$$No, they don't. But I think it's not a secret. I mean I, I tell everyone what I do and how I do it, and it's, it's not always easy to, to get into a search firm and talk to them because our, our clients are, are really the ones that are paying us, and it's not the candidate. But it's important for us to know every individual that is looking for a job because they become our candidates.$$Okay, well, anything else before we get to this last question?$$No, go right ahead.$$Because I'm glad I raised that because it just seems--a lot of people have jobs where they feel that if other people only knew what they were doing, but that nobody--.$$I know.$$--that people really don't.$$Well, I'll tell you one, one story--the, the beauty that I think that I have enjoyed the most is being able to talk to individuals about the numerous options that they can have in their career. I do this a lot with my children, you know. I, I--and I tell my children, you know, when I grew up, I thought of being a lawyer, and I thought of being a doctor. I never thought about other things, but I can tell you now that you can, you can be a microbiologist. You can be a, an applied mathematics guru and work at a, at a law firm or you could work at a corporation. You can be an electrical engineer. You can go into Wall Street, and if you go into Wall Street, you don't have to be a commercial banker. You can be a derivatives expert, you can be a number, a whole host of things. So, if there's anything that I've learned from Russell Reynolds, it's all the different options that you have, not only just at corporations and financial institutions, but even as an entrepreneur.