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Mannie Jackson

Basketball team owner and corporate executive Mannie Jackson was born on May 4, 1939 in Illmo, Missouri, to Emmett and Margaret Jackson. Jackson and his family moved to Edwardsville, Illinois, when he was three years old, where his father worked at an auto plant, and his mother and grandmother cleaned houses. In 1952, Jackson entered the newly integrated Edwardsville High School and later obtained a full scholarship to play basketball at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). During the course of Jackson’s four years at UIUC , he and childhood friend Govoner Vaughn became the first African American basketball players to start for the university’s varsity basketball team. Despite the racist atmosphere on the University of Illinois' campus, Jackson became the first African American All-American player and the captain of the Illini basketball team.

After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1960, with his B.S. degree in education, Jackson traveled to New York to try out for the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s New York Knicks. Although Jackson did not make the team, within the same year, he was accepted into the Harlem Globetrotters, where he played until 1964. Jackson left the Globetrotters and settled in Detroit, Michigan where he attended graduate school at the University of Detroit, and obtained his M.A. degree in marketing and economics in 1968. From there, Jackson launched his business career, becoming the director of labor relations for the Honeywell Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he worked for thirty years. Then, in 1986, Jackson co-founded The Executive Leadership Council and later became its president until 1992. In 1993, Jackson sought to invest money into the Harlem Globetrotters after the franchise reached a low fan base and sales, eventually becoming the owner and president of the team. His purchase of the Harlem Globetrotters made him the first African American to own a major international sports organization. Under Jackson’s leadership, the Globetrotters’ image was completely revamped, and the team amassed an impressive list of national sponsors, expanded the countries the team visited to 118 with attendance of over two million people annually, and topped the Sports Q ratings list as the most liked and recognized team in the world in 1999, 2000 and 2002.

For his work with the Harlem Globetrotters, as well as his impressive business history, Jackson has received numerous awards, including "Black Enterprise" magazine’s “Most Powerful Black Executives,” the National Conference of Community and Justice’s Humanitarian of the Year Award and the Effa Manley Sports Executive of the Year Award. From 1993 to 2007, Jackson served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for the Harlem Globetrotters. He is Chairman of Boxcar Holdings, LLC , and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Harlem Globetrotters and as a trustee of the University of Illinois Foundation. Jackson was recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts when the organization unveiled a new award named after him: Mannie Jackson Basketball's Human Spirit Award.

Mannie Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.210

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/15/2007

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Edwardsville High School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

University of Detroit Mercy

Lincoln University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Mannie

Birth City, State, Country

Illmo

HM ID

JAC25

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

This Too Shall Pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arizona

Birth Date

5/4/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Phoenix

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bass (Chilean Sea)

Short Description

Corporate executive and basketball team owner Mannie Jackson (1939 - ) owned the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.

Employment

Harlem Globetrotters International

General Motors

Honeywell, Inc.

Technical Tape Corporation

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mannie Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mannie Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mannie Jackson describes his mother's family background and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mannie Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mannie Jackson describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mannie Jackson describes his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mannie Jackson talks about his paternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mannie Jackson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mannie Jackson talks about his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mannie Jackson describes his neighborhood in Edwardsville, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mannie Jackson describes the sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Mannie Jackson remembers moving to Edwardsville, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Mannie Jackson remembers the Lincoln School in Edwardsville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mannie Jackson describes the history of the Lincoln School in Edwardsville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mannie Jackson describes his commitment to education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mannie Jackson recalls the school integration process in Edwardsville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mannie Jackson describes segregation in Edwardsville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mannie Jackson recalls his early interest in athletics

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mannie Jackson recalls his first experience at an integrated school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mannie Jackson recalls his start as a basketball player

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mannie Jackson remembers Edwardsville High School in Edwardsville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mannie Jackson describes his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mannie Jackson recalls the Illinois state basketball championships

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Mannie Jackson recalls his decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Mannie Jackson recalls working at a country club

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Mannie Jackson describes his early business aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Mannie Jackson recalls his experiences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Mannie Jackson remembers a basketball game against the University of Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mannie Jackson remembers meeting Cassius Clay

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mannie Jackson recalls his friendship with Reverend Jesse L. Jackson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mannie Jackson remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mannie Jackson talks about his friendship with Govoner Vaughn

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mannie Jackson describes his academic experiences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mannie Jackson recalls his recruitment to the Technical Tape Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mannie Jackson recalls working and playing basketball for the Technical Tape Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mannie Jackson remembers joining the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mannie Jackson talks about the salaries of professional athletes

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Mannie Jackson describes his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Mannie Jackson recalls joining the faculty of the General Motors Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Mannie Jackson recalls joining the staff of Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mannie Jackson recalls working for Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mannie Jackson recalls the acquisition of the General Electric computing division

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mannie Jackson recalls his leadership development at Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mannie Jackson recalls establishing the communication services division of Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mannie Jackson remembers buying the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mannie Jackson recalls his initial plans for the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mannie Jackson remembers negotiating with the National Westminster Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mannie Jackson remembers redeveloping the Harlem Globetrotters brand

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mannie Jackson describes the operations of the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Mannie Jackson reflects upon the legacy of the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Mannie Jackson shares a message to future generations, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mannie Jackson shares a message to future generations, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mannie Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mannie Jackson describes his advice to aspiring professional athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mannie Jackson shares his advice for professional athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mannie Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mannie Jackson shares his advice to young people

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mannie Jackson talks about the WNBA