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Dawn Davis

Publisher Dawn Davis was born on June 23, 1965 in Los Angeles, California to Leona Julia and Louis Davis. She graduated from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California in 1983, and received her B.A. degree in international relations from Stanford University in Stanford, California in 1987.

In 1987, Davis entered into a two year analyst program at the investment bank First Boston in New York City. Davis was then awarded a scholarship through Rotary International to complete an independent study abroad in Nigeria. While on this trip, Davis decided to leave investment banking and returned to New York City where she became the assistant to Andre Schiffrin at his newly founded publishing house, The New Press. In 1991, Davis published her first book, If You Can’t Stand the Heat: Tales from Chefs and Restaurateurs, which featured world renowned chefs Anthony Bourdain and Edna Louis. Davis left The New Press in 1995 and joined the Penguin Random House imprint of Vintage Books. In 2001, Davis moved to HarperCollins as the vice president and editorial director of Amistad, the company’s imprint devoted to work from and about the African diaspora. While there, Davis acquired and published award-winning novels and bestselling memoirs, including Edward P. Jones’ Pulitzer-Prize winning The Known World and Chris Gardener’s The Pursuit of Happyness, which became a major motion picture. In 2013, Davis founded her own imprint, 37 INK, at Simon & Schuster, Inc. 37 INK has published a variety of works including The Butler by Wil Haygood, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae, Never Caught: The Washingtons Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and Nafissa Thompson Spires’s Heads of the Colored People, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for fiction. Through 37 INK, Davis also launched an online national black book club, The Inkwell Book Club.

Davis has received several awards and honors for her work. In 2019, Poets & Writers named her the Editor of the Year. She was also honored alongside Reginald Van Lee with the Visionary Award from the Metro Manhattan Chapter of The Links, Incorporated in 2014. Davis served on the Board of Directors of the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City.

Dawn Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2019.077

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/19/2019

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Our Savior's Lutheran School

Immaculate Heart High School

Stanford University

First Name

Dawn

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

DAV44

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Italy

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/23/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Publisher Dawn Davis (1965 - ) was vice president and editorial director of the HarperCollins’ African American imprint, Amistad, before becoming the founder, publisher, and vice president of 37 INK, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Employment

Credit Suisse First Boston

The New Press

Random House Publishing

HarperCollins

Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster, 37 Ink

First Boston Corporation

Penguin Random House- Vintage Books

Amistad

Ecco Press

Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Inkwell Book Club

Favorite Color

Gray

Jonelle Procope

Lawyer and foundation president Jonelle Procope was born on March 20, 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother, Corinne, was a teacher; her father, John L. Procope, Sr., was a businessman and hospital administrator. Procope was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She received her B.A. degree in economics from Howard University, and her J.D. degree from St. Johns University.

In 1977, Procope was hired as an associate attorney at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York City. She then joined Viacom International Inc. in 1980, where she specialized in entertainment law for the company’s divisions including Viacom International, MTV, Showtime Entertainment, and Viacom Productions. From 1988 to 1994, Procope worked as director of business affairs for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, where she served as primary legal counsel to the Advertising and Media departments for the company’s Consumer Products Group. From 1998 to 2003, she was vice president of business and legal affairs for Blackground Records, an independent record label in New York City. Procope was then named president and chief executive officer of the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. in March of 2003.

Procope has also been active in numerous civic and community organizations. She sits on the boards of New York Public Radio, the Arthur Ashe Learning Center, the 125th Street B.I.D., and the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. She is a member of the Friends of Education Committee of the Museum of Modern Art and the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee.

Procope has been profiled in The New York Times Public Lives column, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to New York City, named as one of Portfolio magazine's 73 Biggest Brains in Business, profiled in Ebony magazine, and honored by The New York Daily News as one of 100 Women Who Shape Our City. In 2014, she received the Matrix Award – “Women Who Change the World” from New York Women in Communications.

Procope is married to Frederick O. Terrell and resides in New York City. They are parents of two adult sons, Matthew and Evan.

Jonelle Procope was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 8, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.105

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/8/2014 |and| 08/25/2014

Last Name

Procope

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Alice

Schools

Lansdowne Friends

Friends' Central School

Philadelphia High School for Girls

St. John's University

Howard University

First Name

Jonelle

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

PRO03

State

Maryland

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/20/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Lawyer and foundation president Jonelle Procope (1951 - ) was the president and chief executive officer of the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.

Employment

Apollo Theater

Blackground Records

All Access Entertainment

Bristol Myers Squibb

Equitable Real Estate Group

Viacom International

Skadden, Arps, Meager & Flom