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Robert C. Davidson, Jr.

Entrepreneur Robert C. Davidson, Jr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1945. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated with his B.A. degree in 1967, and received his M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1967.

Davidson worked at the management consulting firm Cresap, McCormick and Paget and later founded the Urban National Corporation. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the private venture capital firm focused on investing in minority-controlled businesses. Then, Davidson joined the leadership of Clarence Avant’s Sussex Records recording label. After a few years, he founded his own company, Surface Protection Industries, where Davidson served as chairman and CEO. In 1997, he became a trustee at his alma mater, Morehouse College, and later was elected chairman. Davidson also joined the board of trustees of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 2004. He chaired the board’s governance committee and led the presidential search committee. In 2010, Davidson was elected chairman of the board of trustees of the Art Center College of Design.

Davidson has also served as a director of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. He has served on the board of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Charles Drew University School of Medicine. He has also been a member of the boards of the African American Museum of Art, the Black-Jewish Economic Development Committee of Los Angeles, Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

In 1990, Davidson received the Raoul Wallenberg Save the Children award for his humanitarian ideals. He was honored by Morehouse College with the Bennie Leadership award in 2007 and 1997 the dedication of the President’s newly constructed home and executive center was named the “Davidson House Center for Excellence” in his honor. In 2013, Davidson and his wife were named Arts and Culture Ambassadors by the Pasadena Community Foundation for their commitment to the arts in the local community.

Davidson and his wife, Faye Davidson, have three sons, Robert Davidson, III, John Davidson, and Julian Davidson.

Robert C. Davidson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.142

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/24/2017

Last Name

Davidson

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Saint Augustine Elementary School

Father Bertrand High School

Morehouse College

University of Chicago

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days and Evenings

First Name

Robert

HM ID

DAV41

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Luck is where preparation meets opportunity

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/3/1945

Speakers Bureau Region City

Pasadena

Favorite Food

Wife's eggplant casserole

Short Description

Entrepreneur Robert C. Davidson, Jr. (1946 - ) founded Surface Protection Industries in 1978. He served as chairman of the Morehouse College and Art Center College of Design board of trustees.

Employment

Avant Garde Enterprises

Urban National Corporation

Surface Protective Industries

Favorite Color

Blue

Margot Copeland

Corporate executive Margot James Copeland was born on December 4, 1951 in Richmond, Virginia. She was the only child to her parents, Reverend William Lloyd Garrison James, a Baptist minister, and Thelma Taylor James, an eighth grade math teacher. Copeland earned her B.S. degree in physics from Hampton University, and her M.A. degree in educational research and statistics from The Ohio State University.

Copeland began her corporate career at Xerox Corporation, Polaroid, and Picker International. In 1992, she was hired as executive director for Leadership Cleveland, a program of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association that develops community leaders. After seven years at Leadership Cleveland, Copeland became president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, a nonprofit organization founded to improve multicultural and multiracial relations in the Cleveland area. She joined KeyCorp in 2001, and served as executive vice president - director, corporate diversity and philanthropy and as an executive council member. KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies and, within her position as chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation, she managed the company’s annual $20 million philanthropic investment program and oversaw diversity initiatives. KeyCorp has been included in DiversityInc magazine’s list of 50 Top Companies for Diversity in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and ranked 13th among the most generous cash giving companies in America in a 2003 list published by BusinessWeek. In 2013, the KeyBank Foundation was recognized as a Civic 50 Company by the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light and Bloomberg LP.

Copeland has participated in a number of community organizations and boards. In 2010, she became the fifteenth president of The Links, Inc. She has also served as the president of the Junior League of Cleveland, Inc., sat on the Kent State University board of trustees, acted as Mentor/Protégé Program Advisor for Morehouse College, and is a member of the Business School Advisory board at Hampton University.

Copeland was listed as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Cleveland” by New Cleveland Woman magazine, and in 2012, Savoy magazine included her in a list of the “100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” She is also the recipient of the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Award; was the 2006 Black Professional of the Year as recognized by Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation; received the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Community Service Award; and the W.O. Walker Excellence in Community Service Award, sponsored by the Call and Post newspaper. Copeland also received the distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 2013 from Hampton University.

Copeland lives in Cleveland, Ohio and has three children, Reverend Kimberley, Dr. Garrison, and Michael Copeland.

Copeland was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 10, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.045

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/10/2014

Last Name

Copeland

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Marietta

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

The Ohio State University

Matoaca High School

Giles B. Cook Elementary School

Westview Early Childhood Education Center

First Name

Margot

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

COP01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Cry Out Of One Eye.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/4/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Blue Crab

Short Description

Corporate executive Margot Copeland (1951 - ) served as the executive vice president of diversity and chair of the foundation at KeyCorp from 2001. She was also national president of The Links, Incorporated.

Employment

Xerox Corporation

Polaroid Corporation

Picker International

Leadership Cleveland

Greater Cleveland Roundtable

KeyCorp

KeyBank Foundation

Ohio State Legislature

Ameritrust Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Margot Copeland's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland talks about the role of Petersburg, Virginia in the Civil War

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's upbringing in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's involvement with The Links

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland talks about her paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about her father's career as a minister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers her community in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers her community in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland remembers the racial tensions at Matoaca High School, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland remembers the racial tensions at Matoaca High School, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her elementary school education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland talks about her early interest in science

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers her time at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland remembers her astrophysics courses at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about the environment at historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her admission to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her graduate programs at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland recalls her graduate math courses

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers working for state legislator William L. Mallory, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers joining the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland talks about her role at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland remembers her transition to the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland talks about her maternal uncle, Theodore Taylor

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland remembers the economic boycott of Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her work at the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers leaving the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland talks about her early community involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland talks about the history of The Links

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland describes The Links' organizational structure

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland talks about her involvement in The Links, Incorporated, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Margot Copeland talks about her involvement in The Links, Incorporated, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland recalls her start in the Junior League

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland describes her philosophy of organizational leadership

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland remembers her presidency of the Junior League of Cleveland, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland recalls serving as executive director of Leadership Cleveland

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers hosting a gang leader as a guest speaker at Leadership Cleveland

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers taking leaders to women's prisons in Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers taking leaders to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland remembers her involvement on the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland remembers the Cleveland Browns' departure from Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Margot Copeland talks about Michael R. White's mayoralty of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes her work with the Greater Cleveland Roundtable

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about her previous positions

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes her work with the KeyBank Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes the KeyBank Classrooms for STEM Education program

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland describes the role of civic engagement at KeyCorp

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland describes her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland talks about the importance of community service

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland recalls her mentorship of an aspiring biomedical engineer

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Margott Copeland narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 2
Margot Copeland recalls serving as executive director of Leadership Cleveland
Transcript
I go down to pre-college and on the way down to Hampton [Virginia], you would've thought somebody was taking our family to a funeral. I'm in the back seat of the car crying, my father's in the front seat crying. He and I are both softhearted so that was natural. When my mother [Thelma Taylor James] started to cry, then I knew something was wrong. My mother was not a crier (laughter). But--so it was an emotional time taking your child even though it was pre-college and Hampton is much closer to Petersburg [Virginia] than going to Raleigh [North Carolina] to go to school--I mean not Raleigh, Durham [North Carolina] to go to school. But anyway we got over the sepera- we got through the separation if you will. And within about forty-eight hours I'd become quite acclimated to being not only away from home but to be in that beautiful Hampton Institute [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia] at that time although I was not gonna be matriculating there for the fall. Well in the middle of the six week period, I got a note to come over to the registrar's office which I did, and I spoke to one of the admissions directors and he said that--he complimented me on how well I was doing. I was taking freshman level math and English, and what have you. He said I was doing well midterm, I was doing quite well and what have you, wanted to know if I 'wanna think about, you know, staying and going to Hampton for undergrad versus going to North Carolina [North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina]. And I was flattered, and I said wow, and I thought about it for a while, and my dad being a minister his big day off was always on Monday. So of course when I was in Hampton every Monday my father was in Hampton. He would drive on down there--he'd come and spend Monday afternoon with me anyway, so I don't know what day I was talking to this gentlemen. But all I know is the second meeting said, well my father will be here on Monday. Can I get him involved in this conversation? That's before cell phones, computers, and text, you know, and so daddy came and we went back to see the man and he told him, "Reverend James [William James], your daughter's done so well we would love to see her come here." And I began to ask him some questions about, you know, scholarship I said I had you know, I didn't have a big scholarship to North Carolina--if I had a nice one, you know it was recognizing my academic ability. And I said I've got a scholarship here, you know, what can you do help us do this. My father was so struck by the fact that he sat in that conversation and was proud of me--of how I negotiated getting money to go to school at Hampton, not a complete scholarship but a nice complement to what my parents were gonna have to pay. Anyway, he went back home and told mom, "Well it looks like she's gonna go to Hampton because she's done all these things, she's negotiated her money, got a little bit more money than I got to North Carolina." And my mother just revolted to him, she said, "She's not old enough to make a decision like that, how dare she decide--she's going to UN- North Carolina Central." And he said, "Margot's [HistoryMaker Margot Copeland] going to Hampton, because she has already committed. That's where it is," and my mother did call me, and there was a--one telephone booth on the floor that all these girls in the dorm had to share, and you could barely get a call through. But of course that call came through and my mom and I talked and I was very clear. I used the clarity I learned from her, I was very clear that this was gonna be my choice, and I said, "I don't wanna go to another place and get adjusted all over again." I said, "I'm adjusted, I like it." I said, "It's a topped named HBCU [historically black colleges and universities], you know, everybody's going to Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.], I'm going to Hampton." And so, and so that's what where--so Hampton chose me. Hampton pulled me back in and there are a lot of things in life, if you look back and you'd like to do over, or change, or adjust, the best decision, best decision in my life was going to Hampton. It was just incredible.$$We spent like the last two years interviewing black scientists. And we spent a lot of time at Hampton, now people who are there now undoubtedly were not there when you were there.$$Right.$$But they are associated with the Jefferson National Accelerator [Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, Virginia] over there and a lot of things going on at Hampton. The physics department is re- is really, you know, doing things.$Now during the same period of time, here comes Leadership Cleveland you go (laughter), you're like building steam.$$Yeah, yeah, yeah. Leadership Cleveland really came as a result of my presidency with the Junior League [Junior League of Cleveland, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio]. So as--when I was president elect, I was a member of the Leadership Cleveland class of 1991. Boy is this documentary dating me and--but anyway I was a member of the class and again a great set of peers that I got to know and meet. And then I was president from '91 [1991] to '92 [1992]. By the time I was a past president of the league, my active days as a Junior League member began to wane, because you know, you've been the president and I be- once you turn forty you can become an alum. So I, I applied for alumni status. I'd already actively served about fifteen years in the league so it was time. It was time to begin replenishing ourselves. We have younger women coming in and others, you know, moving on. I don't believe in older women, you know, holding up all the--holding all the top jobs so the younger women can't advance and move forward. I'm a real proponent of bringing along younger people. But anyway so Leadership Cleveland came in my life as a--first as a participant in the class of '91 [1991] and by the fall of '92 [1992] I found myself in the job. I'd taken a leave of absence from Picker International [Picker International, Inc.], had--with all their support. And when it was time for that year to come back, I remember my manager calling me, he said, "Okay you got your year back." He literally--it wasn't that he held the job for me, but he had a place for me at Picker and invited me to, you know, come back and, and come back and regain, you know, the te- be a part of the team at Picker. And during that time, the directorship for Leadership Cleveland had opened. God lines up all the stars. He has a plan and I tossed my hat in the ring as the director, executive director of Leadership Cleveland. Great mentor of mine, probably the mentor. I've had many along the way, Carole Hoover. Carole Hoover was a senior executive with the Greater Cleveland Growth Association [Greater Cleveland Partnership], which at that time was the chamber of commerce for greater Cleveland that Leadership Cleveland program reported up through to her and with her encouragement and the encouragement of others, I was selected as the executive director, Leadership Cleveland, becoming the first black director of Leadership Cleveland. And I ran that program for about eight years from '92 [1992], my last class was a class of '99 [1999] and in a class it was always fun putting those classes together. You would have CEOs or you would have clergy and head of the labor union and, and somebody who works in the social services or in the arts world or what have you. There was one meeting where I had this, this--the COO of Lincoln Electric [Lincoln Electric Company] and the CEO of the Midnight Basketball League and at the opening dinner I placed everybody where they were gonna be I sat them together. Where else would the two of them come together and meet. So and the learning, the learning that you would get, you know from that sort of thing. There was one session in Leadership Cleveland where you know, you can go and listen to the practitioners talk about, you know, issues. I like to demonstrate the issues, you know, for that the community had. These are established accomplished leaders so they don't need me to introduce them to problems (unclear) has the whole bombard of--of barrage of speakers coming talking about topics. I wanted to--them to actually touch and feel and see. So we had a session around quality of life. And I had them all arrive that morning around 6:30 A.M., most of them are up and moving, these are powerful folks, they're up early anyway. But it was a December, it was freezing cold outside, and I--we told them to leave their coats in the car. And when they got to the church where we were having this session, the door was locked and they were all lined up in the cold. And this real gruff, wiry looking man came out, pushing a cart and gave each one a pa- a brown paper bag, with a carton of milk, a Twinkie and a banana in their bag, well that was their breakfast. They were accustomed to coming into a place and getting a nice warm cup of coffee or tea and having continental breakfast. That was their breakfast and we made them stan- they were pounding on the door--they were so upset with me and we inside church looking at them pou- because they were freezing and we made 'em do that for thirty minutes and they were not happy. But the demonstration was this is what it feels like to be a homeless person getting ready to start their day on a December cold morning. They got it, they got the point. Same thing I took them to the Hospice of the Western Reserve [Cleveland, Ohio] so they--so the hospice was not just something that you heard about or maybe unfortunately experienced. But at least--you actually talk to people who are in--going through the process or families going through the process with a loved one.

Shirley Anne Massey

Civic leader Shirley Anne Massey was born on August 14, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the younger of two children born to parents, Anne Johnson, a laundress, and William Streeter, a janitor. Massey attended St. Anslem Grammar School and Holy Cross Grammar School before graduating from Chicago Loretto Academy, which was an all-girls Roman Catholic high school, in 1960. She then enrolled in Chicago Teachers College where see studied education.

In 1962, Massey was hired to work as an accountant at the Playboy club. Then, from 1964 to 1969, she served as a reservationist for Trans World Airlines (TWA). Since then, Massey has committed much of her life to causes for youth and culture. From 1995, Shirley Massey served as First Lady of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Committed to the college, Massey worked alongside her husband, Walter Massey, who served as the ninth president of Morehouse from 1995 to 2007 and also as the president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2010.

President of the Morehouse Auxiliary, Massey spearheaded the Morehouse College Beautification Committee. She also served on the board of Salzburg Seminar, ARCS Foundation, and the University of Chicago Women’s Board. Her previous affiliations include serving as a board member of the Atlanta Ballet, founding member of the Chicago Foundation for Education, board member of the Great Books Foundation, member of the Women’s Board of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, member of the Women’s board of the Chicago Symphony and founding member of the Museum of Science and Industry President’s Council.

In 2012, the Executive Conference Center building on the campus of Morehouse was renamed as the Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center in her honor.

Massey and her husband have two sons, Keith and Eric, and three grandchildren. They remain active in cultural and civic organizations in Chicago and beyond.

Shirley Anne Massey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.239

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/24/2013

Last Name

Massey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Anne

Occupation
Schools

Holy Cross Elementary School

St. Anselm's School

Loretto Academy Catholic High School

Chicago State University

First Name

Shirley

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MAS09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Go With The Flow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/14/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Civic leader Shirley Anne Massey (1942 - ) served as the First Lady of Morehouse College from 1995 to 2007.

Employment

Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Trans World Airlines

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Timing Pairs
0,0:1314,11:6350,53:6630,58:8100,91:11530,166:12440,183:12860,190:24126,321:24567,369:26598,379:26902,384:27206,389:27510,394:30246,467:32830,523:33134,528:36174,598:43381,690:52366,756:52950,766:53899,818:55943,852:56381,861:56673,866:67642,989:68263,1000:69367,1023:69919,1032:82839,1254:86124,1323:86416,1328:88314,1364:88971,1377:98460,1526:98755,1532:99345,1545:99640,1551:108926,1696:119248,1838:120616,1878:120904,1884:121768,1902:123496,1929:124288,1942:125944,1987:126232,1992:132194,2041:133096,2068:135638,2099:139902,2166:140312,2172:140804,2180:146570,2243:150795,2364:151770,2383:152160,2390:158010,2530:165994,2590:172275,2702:174711,2755:176712,2790:182382,2848:184350,2880$0,0:293,4:577,9:1003,16:1784,33:2281,41:2778,49:5831,175:6328,191:9034,213:14382,281:14890,286:16160,312:20220,335:21626,359:23772,400:24290,408:24586,413:25252,428:26954,451:27916,468:28360,475:28656,480:29174,488:29692,497:32282,551:32578,556:33096,564:34354,603:34946,612:38786,627:39074,632:39362,637:39650,642:40442,655:41594,677:42026,684:45770,757:47138,794:47426,799:50931,814:53760,844:55590,865:56831,888:57123,893:61574,927:62066,935:62476,942:65182,989:66576,1006:67970,1035:72160,1043:72950,1073:76031,1139:77295,1171:78796,1189:79586,1201:80060,1209:80376,1214:80850,1222:81166,1227:82667,1256:88004,1284:88468,1294:92846,1364:93166,1371:94638,1403:95022,1411:97326,1463:104410,1526:104750,1532:105022,1537:105634,1558:105906,1563:106994,1584:107606,1594:108082,1603:108490,1611:109034,1620:112160,1647:112736,1659:117450,1747:118220,1761:118990,1784:121160,1833:121580,1841:122770,1861:123120,1867:123680,1878:124100,1886:124380,1891:124800,1899:126060,1921:127950,1949:128300,1955:137771,2091:140708,2144:146750,2229:151560,2346:155334,2411:155778,2418:161803,2467:169166,2611:169598,2618:172262,2690:180630,2835
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shirley Anne Massey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her upbringing in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Shirley Anne Massey describes the smells and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her elementary education

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her favorite meals

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers the Holy Cross School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers family vacations and holidays

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her experiences at Loretto Academy in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her family's household responsibilities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls marrying her first husband

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her accounting position at Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers working at Trans World Airlines

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls marrying Walter E. Massey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers moving to Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers her husband's adoption of her oldest son

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers helping her husband secure a raise

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's appointment as the college dean at Brown University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her duties as a college dean's wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey recall moving into the Powhatan Apartments in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her introduction to Chicago's elite society, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her introduction to Chicago's elite society, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's directorship of the National Science Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her transition to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's sabbatical in Paris, France

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey talks about her leisure activities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her younger son's education

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers moving to Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls moving to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her role at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers fundraising for Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her mission at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers advocating for the young black men of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's retirement from Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls her husband's appointment as chairman of the Bank of America Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Shirley Anne Massey recalls serving as the first lady of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Shirley Anne Massey reflects upon the changes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Shirley Anne Massey reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Shirley Anne Massey describes her concerns for Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Shirley Anne Massey shares her advice for young women

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Shirley Anne Massey reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Shirley Anne Massey describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Shirley Anne Massey shares her advice for a successful marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Shirley Anne Massey remembers caring for her elderly parents

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Shirley Anne Massey narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Shirley Anne Massey narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Shirley Anne Massey remembers meeting her husband
Shirley Anne Massey recalls moving to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
Transcript
And then I started really dating, but when you dated back then you, they didn't have these sites, and so you did blind dates and there was a girl that lived down the hall and she was always getting a new, new, new boyfriend, and every time she got a new boyfriend, I got a new blind date. And one, the day Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was killed, I came home from work and picked up Keith [Keith Massey]. He was at a babysitter at that time on 64th [Street] and Woodlawn [Avenue] so I had to come down 63rd Street with all the guns and all this, you know, the [U.S.] Army. And I stopped, and everyone in the building was just, you know, really sad and I went into, stopped by her apartment and she had a new boyfriend and it turns out that Walter [HistoryMaker Walter E. Massey] and his wife had just separated and so he says, "I have someone I want you to meet." So I said, "Fine." So we never did quite meet. He cancelled the date before I even knew him because he called and said he had computer time. He was a post-doc [post doctoral researcher] at Argonne [Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Illinois] and he said he had computer time so he had to cancel the date.$$So you're wondering what kind of guy is this.$$Right. So then we, we talked--uh-oh he says it's thirty minutes. We talk again and he says, okay well he can come by on a Wednesday, and I said, "Well that's fine but I don't go out during the week because I have my son," and that particular day my girlfriend was taking night classes so I would keep her son and--do we have to stop?$$(Inaudible response).$$And then I said, "Fine." He said, "Fine I'll come," and that was a good barometer because if I told some men that I couldn't go out during the week, then, or if we went out on the weekend some days we could go to the museum with my son. If they didn't want to do that, then there was no reason to pursue it. So I remember him coming and I looked out the window and I saw this person get out of this white Ford convertible in white cut off jeans, short jeans, black leather shoes, no socks, a black shirt trimmed in purple, which I still have, and he comes into my apartment and I'm cooking. I'm making spaghetti and hot dogs, except that I don't really cook, but the hot dogs had been boiling and I was going to pour some tomato sauce. Now I had lots of spices and things because, as I said, my father [William Streeter] cooked and he lived downstairs and he gave me, so Walter in the meantime looks at what I'm cooking and he goes and opens my cabinet and starts putting spices and things in and two little boys are just looking and then he goes down the street and gets a bottle of wine. You know that Chianti with the straw, and the kids are just like, "Wow," and I'm thinking, I'm marrying this man. (Laughter) I'll give him time, but I'm marrying this man.$And then people started, someone started calling from Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia]. We'd only been there a year, here [California]. And I said, "Don't call here, we're not going anywhere, don't call here." And they kept calling, and they kept calling, and so I went down to Atlanta [Georgia] just to check it out. When he was finally was thinking he was going to do this and I'm talking with people and I'm talking, now I have to interact, I work always very closely with his secretaries and assistants. They're in charge but we work closely together. I don't do anything without checking with them, and he's been very fortunate to have even people like twenty years old to take over his life, and they're very good. And he had this young woman, Yung Lee [ph.], who was very good. So I go Atlanta and I meet the people that are going to be working for him, and I came back and I said, "First of all we have to have a house on campus. We can't live out away. The students live on campus, we should be there." Because they hadn't--there had been a house and then they tore it down. So the president lived way off campus. And then there was the issue of how it's figured you have to live just so many miles for it not to be a tax issue if you living and the school is paying for you. I said, "And furthermore you can't go unless Yung Lee comes, because you are not going to be able to work with this person that's there. It's not gonna work." So we had to convince her and her new husband to come, which they agreed. And we were very fortunate, we got an apartment near the school, downtown Atlanta, but it was at the time of the Olympics [1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia] and we got the land for the house and they sold the president's house, the house the president was living in that wasn't on campus, that was able to be built there, and then we were able to find alums to give us money for endowment and two other friends to give us money for the furniture.$$So wait a minute, so you built a new president's home. I did not know that.$$I was on the committee.$$I see. I didn't know that.$$They weren't expecting me on the committee.$$So Atlanta was a different community.$$Atlanta was a different community. It's the South (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So how did--it's the South and you hadn't spent time in the South.$$Never spent time. But what was so amazing is people just talk and are friendly, white and black, and they all, I said to Walter [HistoryMaker Walter E. Massey], "White people eat grits!" He said, "Of course they do."$$Well, this is, Walter was coming back home and many way--$$He said, "Of course they do." I said, "White people I knew didn't eat grits." He says, "Who do you think cooked for them? They all ate- ate the same food." I mean I, it just blew my mind.

Ronald Brown

Atlanta Life Financial Group President and CEO Ronald DeWayne Brown was born on August 1, 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio to Bettye Williams and Clifford Brown. He was raised in New York City by his mother and stepfather, Gifford Williams. Brown was a graduate of Morehouse College with a B.A. degree in political science and economics. He was also a graduate of the Financial Management Program at Columbia University School of Business.

Brown began his career in 1977 working with Equifax in Atlanta, Georgia where he held various managerial positions. In 1988, he began his tenure with the Dun and Bradstreet Corporation and its successor companies, becoming the President and CEO of Sales Technology. There, he developed sales force automation software for the consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries and was instrumental in taking the company public. In 1998, Brown became the CEO of Strategic Technologies, a premier market research firm with operations in 90 countries. By 2000, Brown was the President of Synavant, a global leader in customer relationship management software and solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2001, Brown joined the board of directors of Atlanta Life and became the CEO and managing partner of Variant Group. Charles E. Cornelius, President of Atlanta Life Financial Group retired, and in 2004, Brown was appointed the sixth President and CEO in the 100 year history of Atlanta Life Financial. He was also the Chairman of Jackson Securities, a full service investment bank, now affiliated with Atlanta Life, founded by the late mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson.

Brown served as a business mentor at Morehouse College and the Georgia 100 Mentor program. He was the 2005 recipient of the Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Business Advisor of the Year Award. He was also a member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta Executive Committee and the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

Brown passed away on April 28, 2008 at age 54.

Accession Number

A2007.115

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/28/2007

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Middle Name

DeWayne

Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary School

P.S. 129 John H. Finley School

P.S. 139 Frederick Douglass School

J.H.S. 104 Simon Baruch

Seward Park High School

Morehouse College

First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

BRO43

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

AON

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cabo San Lucas, New York City

Favorite Quote

The More You Sweat During Times Of Peace, The Less You Bleed During Times Of War.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/1/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thanksgiving Dinner

Death Date

4/28/2008

Short Description

Investment chief executive Ronald Brown (1953 - 2008 ) was the President and CEO of Sales Technology for Dun and Bradstreet Corporation, served on the board of directors of Atlanta Life Financial Group, and was appointed President and CEO of Atlanta Life Financial Group.

Employment

Equifax, Inc.

First Atlanta Bank, N.A.

Sales Technologies, Inc.

Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1980,30:3240,46:4770,85:5760,91:6300,101:6660,106:7740,122:15485,245:18224,302:20548,328:24183,346:24750,354:26127,372:26694,381:27990,397:28557,406:29367,420:30096,431:30663,442:32121,465:32850,481:34065,500:37143,550:38601,575:39411,588:39735,593:40302,603:41355,619:41679,624:42003,629:48138,646:48746,656:49962,681:50266,686:50798,695:52878,712:53182,717:54474,741:55690,758:56982,781:57362,787:57894,795:58654,808:59262,818:59718,825:60630,840:61390,853:63670,886:64354,898:69099,912:70177,927:70562,933:70947,939:72995,957:74045,971:76445,1021:77795,1040:78320,1049:78920,1059:79370,1067:80045,1079:80720,1089:82070,1111:82745,1122:83795,1141:89260,1154:89580,1160:89836,1165:90156,1171:95596,1269:96620,1287:100040,1299:101120,1315:101480,1320:102110,1328:102470,1333:105530,1381:109310,1441:113130,1465:113670,1477:114300,1485:115290,1527:119470,1567:120110,1578:120430,1584:120814,1592:121198,1599:121582,1607:122222,1626:122798,1638:128778,1693:130924,1745:131220,1750:132034,1763:132848,1778:133366,1787:136104,1849:136844,1864:137658,1876:138250,1886:138768,1897:139064,1902:139656,1911:140174,1920:140988,1934:146390,1950:147750,1966:149030,1987:149750,2001:151270,2027:154950,2091:155270,2096:155750,2103:156070,2108:164750,2140$0,0:1309,18:1617,26:4543,162:4928,168:5236,173:6083,186:7238,203:8855,232:9394,240:9702,245:11088,268:12397,288:12705,293:13783,306:15169,326:15631,331:17402,361:22956,374:23658,380:25686,404:26622,414:27636,429:28260,438:28884,448:30834,503:31848,523:32160,528:32862,540:34968,578:42628,634:42960,639:43541,648:44703,664:45035,669:48043,683:48367,688:49987,708:51202,726:51526,731:52498,746:52984,759:53794,770:55090,793:55414,798:57196,830:58330,844:59140,855:62137,892:63676,949:64000,954:64324,959:64648,964:68617,1077:74290,1092:74710,1100:76270,1131:77650,1167:78130,1176:78670,1187:79210,1199:79450,1204:79990,1222:80530,1233:82600,1243
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ronald Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ronald Brown lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ronald Brown describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ronald Brown describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ronald Brown talks about his mother's college education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ronald Brown describes his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ronald Brown describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ronald Brown describes his father's golf career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ronald Brown describes his relationship with his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ronald Brown describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ronald Brown remembers moving to his mother's home in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ronald Brown talks about his parents' move to Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ronald Brown lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ronald Brown describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ronald Brown remembers the community of Bessemer, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ronald Brown remembers George Washington Carver Elementary School in Bessemer, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ronald Brown remembers living for the summer in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ronald Brown recalls his relocation to New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ronald Brown talks about his stepfather

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ronald Brown describes his early education in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ronald Brown remembers his teacher, H.W. Brendle

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ronald Brown describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ronald Brown describes the sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ronald Brown describes the sights of New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ronald Brown remembers his mother's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ronald Brown remembers Seward Park High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ronald Brown remembers his experiences in the Baptist church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ronald Brown talks about his early understanding of racial identity

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ronald Brown talks about the political climate of the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ronald Brown remembers his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ronald Brown describes his experiences at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ronald Brown remembers his influences at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ronald Brown describes his part time work experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ronald Brown describes his social life at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ronald Brown describes his early career

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ronald Brown remembers his roles at Sales Technologies, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ronald Brown recalls the expansion of Sales Technologies, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ronald Brown remembers his tenure as the CEO of Sales Technologies, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ronald Brown remembers the initial public offering of Sales Technologies, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ronald Brown remembers his introduction to international business, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ronald Brown remembers his introduction to international business, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ronald Brown talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ronald Brown recalls his career at Synavant, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ronald Brown recalls joining the board of the Atlanta Life Financial Group

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ronald Brown describes the history of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ronald Brown recalls his appointment as the CEO of the Atlanta Life Financial Group

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ronald Brown describes the Atlanta Life Financial Group's role in the community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ronald Brown talks about the future of the Atlanta Life Financial Group

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ronald Brown talks about Jesse Hill's role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ronald Brown describes his commitment to minority financial education

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ronald Brown talks about his board memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ronald Brown describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ronald Brown reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ronald Brown reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ronald Brown shares a message to future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ronald Brown narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

8$6

DATitle
Ronald Brown describes his father's golf career
Ronald Brown talks about Jesse Hill's role in the Civil Rights Movement
Transcript
And what did he--what was his occupation?$$My father [Clifford Brown] was one of the first blacks to ever play on the PGA Tour [Professional Golfers' Association].$$Okay. Tell me about that.$$Well, it was during a time period where you weren't making Tiger Woods money, that's for sure. A lot of the purses were significantly smaller then. He started late. He got his love for golf as a caddy there in Alabama. And naturally, after he'd finished caddying he'd stay out on the course and hit the ball a little while. And it got to a point where people saw that he could really hit a golf ball, and actually got to play with some of the, the white men that were members of the club there in Alabama, and did very well. And the rest, as they say, is, is history. But it was a tough history because of a series of things that happened, based on how difficult it was to, to fit in. Golf at the time was your quintessential white man's game. And for my father, to be able to do it and do it well, there were a lot of hardships, not the least of which was when he would go to play in a tournament, he wasn't allowed to stay in any of the hotels. So, there were times when my father would go to a tournament and have to sleep in his car and have to shave at, in the restroom of a gas station and then go out and play against Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino.$$So those were some of the golfers that he played against?$$And beat, yes.$$Okay. What year are we talking about? What years?$$Early '60s [1960s].$$Early '60s [1960s], okay.$$There's a, a tremendous story that my father told me about a tournament that he was playing in, in Tennessee. And whether you're aware of this, but they, they feed all of the, the PGA. The card carrying PGA pros get to go into the clubhouse and eat, and you know, they always put on these big spreads, these extravagant meals for them. And they wouldn't allow my father in the clubhouse. And only one golfer stood up for him and said, "If you don't let him in, I won't come in either, and I'll protest this." And ironically, it was Gary Player from South Africa.$$Very interesting.$Is there anything that we have not talked about, about Atlanta Life [Atlanta Life Financial Group, Atlanta, Georgia] that you would like to, to tell us?$$Well, I think it's important to recognize that a major part of Atlanta Life's history took place during the civil rights era. And it took place during Jesse Hill's tenure when actually allowed Atlanta Life employees to leave work and go and work as deputized individuals to register people to vote in the City of Atlanta [Georgia]. And all of the progress that we've seen here in the City of Atlanta now, particularly the diversification process, a lot of that stemmed from the work that was done by Atlanta Life employees and that they were given the opportunity to do that because of the vision that, that Jesse Hill had for what this city could be and what the southeast could be. So everything from having the phones answered here from the SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference] when they were trying to tap all of Dr. King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] phones, to in this very room where we are right now, the funeral arrangements for Coretta Scott King were made with all of the King children sitting in some of the same chairs that we're sitting in right now.

The Honorable Hazel O'Leary

Cabinet appointee and president of Fisk University, Hazel Rollins O’Leary was born Hazel Reid on May 17, 1937, in Newport News, Virginia to Dr. Russell Edward Reid and Hazel Palleman. Raised by her stepmother Mattie Ross Reid, O’Leary attended the Urban League’s camp in Atwater, Massachusetts every summer where she met Alma Brown and the Delany sisters. O’Leary attended Aberdeen Gardens School in Hampton, Virginia, Booker T. Washington School, John Marshall School and Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia. O’Leary graduated from the High School of Fine and Performing Arts in Newark, New Jersey in 1955. She then graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Fisk University in 1959, at the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. Among her teachers were Vivian Henderson, Robert Hayden, and T.S. Courier. O’Leary went on to obtain her J.D. degree from Rutgers University Law School in 1966.

From 1967 to 1969, O’Leary handled organized crime cases while serving as assistant county prosecutor in Essex County, New Jersey. Later, she joined the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, O’Leary acted as assistant administrator of the Federal Energy Commission, general counsel of the Community Services Administration, and an administrator for the Economic Regulatory Commission of the newly-created Department of Energy. In 1981, O’Leary and her husband formed O’Leary and Associates, 1989 to 1993, where she served as executive vice president of Northern States Power in Minnesota.

Nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, O’Leary became the seventh United States Secretary of Energy and the first African American woman to serve in that office. As Secretary, O’Leary changed the department’s Office of Classification to the Office of Declassification, initiated an aggressive clean-up of surplus plutonium, created an Openness Advisory Panel, and encouraged the Clinton administration to end nuclear testing in the United States. O’Leary established the Samuel P. Massie Chair of Excellence Professorship in Environmental Disciplines which benefited nine historically black colleges and universities. In 1996, O’Leary resigned and joined Blaylock and Partners, becoming CEO in 2002. In 2004, O’Leary was named President of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

O’Leary served on the boards of Africare, UAL Inc. (parent company of United Airlines), Morehouse College; Alchemix Corporation; AES Corporation; The Center for Democracy; ICF Kaiser; Scottish Re, Ltd.; Nashville Chamber Orchestra; the World Wildlife Fund; Nashville Alliance for Public Education; ITC Holdings, Inc.; and Nashville Business Community for the Arts. O’Leary also received numerous honors for her work. O’Leary was widowed in 1987 and she also has one son, attorney Carl G. Rollins III.

Hazel O'Leary was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 15, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.090

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/15/2007

Last Name

O'Leary

Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Aberdeen Gardens School

John Marshall School

Booker T. Washington Middle School

Arts High School

Fisk University

Rutgers University

Huntington High School

First Name

Hazel

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

OLE01

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Reynaldo Glover

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Scuba Diving

Favorite Quote

I'm On It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

5/17/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Nashville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

University president and cabinet appointee The Honorable Hazel O'Leary (1937 - ) was the first African American United States Secretary of Energy and the president of Fisk University. O'Leary was also the CEO of Blaylock and Partners.

Employment

State of New Jersey

Coopers & Lybrand

Jimmy Carter administration

O’Leary and Associates

Northern States Power

Federal government of the United States

Blaylock and Partners

Fisk University

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Hot Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Hazel O'Leary's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her stepmother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her stepmother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers her stepmother's mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her awareness of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the role of church in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls radio and television programs

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls Camp Atwater in North Brookfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls the Aberdeen Gardens in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers Collis P. Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers the Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers her experiences at Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary reflects upon the social conventions of Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her professors at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her administration at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the history of Nashville's historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers Charles S. Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her peers at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes Diane Nash

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls teaching civil rights history at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls significant faculty at Fisk University

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her administration at Fisk University
Transcript
How did you choose a college? Now most of your family you say went to Hampton [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia], right, they were Hampton people (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh yeah, easy. And the other half, you know, at the beginning of integration they all went to, you know, majority schools, as did my sister [Edna Reid McCollum]. She went to Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And I had three aunts who went, you know, to majority schools long ago. (Cough) I told you how close in age I was to my sister. So when I was a senior in high school [Arts High School, Newark, New Jersey], I would go up to see Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania to see my sister. There were three Negro women there, three. And my sense of them at Cedar Crest was that no one was mean to them, but no one knew what to do with them. And they were sort of foreign elements within the great sea. And then one weekend there was a social, yeah listen to this. The guys from Lehigh [Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania] came over to Cedar Crest College. And what I saw as these hordes of men came through, and my recollection is they may have been five Negro students from the engineering college. I will tell you that the chaperones were body blocking these black guys from talking to the white women, and the black women if it looked like, or Negro women. They were going to talk to the black, the white guys. And I thought to myself, and said so, why would I want to be in a place where A, apparently nobody really likes me, and B, someone is afraid that there will be this romantic flicker? So from that experience I go well, I guess I'm going to a Negro college. And I had a cousin here, recall though, my father [Russell Reid] and my birth mother [Hazel Pallemon Reagan] had gone to Meharry [Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee], so I said, "Hm, I think I'm going to Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee]." And in the family, you know, among all of those first cousins, the routine was each kid ready for college would be given enough money to apply to ten schools. I took my ten school money, I applied to Fisk, and I went shopping with the rest of it. And then I thought, what would I have done if I hadn't been admitted? I guess I would have had to go to Hampton. I think they would have taken me there, but I was admitted to Fisk. And I was happy here, and yeah I loved Fisk, yeah, yeah.$$Okay. So was it, was a change from high school. So you went from a segregated school in Newport News [Virginia] to an integrated--$$Yeah, to an integrated school.$$And then to, now to Fisk--$$Take me to where they're gonna love me.$$So you graduated from high school in '55 [1955]?$$Um-hm, '55 [1955], yeah.$$Okay, so you came here the fall of--$$I came in August really. And my father brought me here, which was very interesting. My introduction to life at Fisk involved opening a dresser drawer in my dorm room in Jubilee Hall and having a huge thing fly out of the drawer (makes sound). It was a flying cockroach. My father stood there laughing and said, "Welcome to the real world."$So you were reflecting on your student days at Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] and comparing them to what's going on now at Fisk.$$Oh yeah, and I was--my insight is that there is still this deep involvement of faculty and administration and the lives and comportment of the kids. And I think it's a heavier burden today because they come with -- I'm just talking of my own sense of rebellion. But they come not understanding the boundaries. So they need, they need attention but it can't be heavy attention. And it's interesting, you don't see it, but we have a set of values at Fisk. We celebrate diversity, excellence, teamwork, accountability, integrity, leadership and service. And the reason we thought we should come up with the DETAILS, someone else pulled the acronym together, but we worked at settling on what our values would be, faculty, staff student. So it's right there behind you, the DETAILS. So you'll see signs hanging outside that say, "Our success is in the DETAILS." Which is also an attention to being careful to ensure that you follow the steps with the course that you lay out for yourself and your plan. But it is also to ensure that we model behavior, we don't just talk about the behavior. But that we model it. And so for these youngsters who now deal with their professors and the administration. There is the same involvement in their lives and the celebration of their victories, or you know, I don't want you to think it's all, as the kids would say, it's all good because sometimes it's a rough and rocky road. My first year here the head of the student government association got kicked out because she was on social probation for having a fight over something having to do with a Greek letter or whatever. And here is the bright kid with not enough discipline, I mean I don't even understand it, you know, two women going at it. And she was tremendously embarrassed. And I said to her, you have but one thing to do here. You will be on--she was on social probation for the entire year. I said you have but one thing to do here. You need to earn a 4.0 [grade point average] each semester and get yourself to law school. And you can come to me and talk about it. And then I told her, now they all know, I said but it's not so hard to stay in the dorm all semester, I've done it. And what you have to do is understand that this passage can be ugly or you can make something out of it. And so to continue, there are great teachers who are engaged in and involved in their students, who take the time. I talked early on about going down to admission because you know the students will be there. The so-called administrators who are involved, engaged and they will come to wherever they find simpatico and interest to seek help or seek advice. Or sometimes all because they were in trouble. And that's the glory of the small liberal arts black school [HBCU]. We're not tolerate--we don't tolerate our kids. We don't tolerate each other. We talk about the Fisk family, it exists and you know, you might talk about each other on this campus, but you don't leave here not doing anything other than lifting the kids who are here. And it's a great experience. There are nine hundred and I think fifty-six students here. By the time we get to next year, I will know all of their names. I mean, I mark the class I came in with, I came in a week before the class of 2008. So I'm a sophomore, I'm a sophomore this year, I'll be a junior--no I'm a junior this year. I'll be a senior next year, that's my class.