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Ron Allen

Journalist Ron Allen was born in 1957. His mother, Shirley Allen, was a school secretary; his father, Lindsay L. Allen Jr., was a cargo sales manager at Newark International Airport. Allen received both his B.A. degree and M.A. degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1980, Allen was hired as a desk assistant for a CBS news station in New York City. From 1988 until 1992, he worked as a national correspondent for CBS News based in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, California. In 1992, Allen was appointed as a foreign correspondent for ABC News, and served in London until 1996. He was then hired by NBC News in 1996 as a national and international correspondent, where he covered stories of interest across the United States and around the world. Allen was based in London until 2003, when he moved to New York.

As a national and international correspondent, Allen covered the O.J. Simpson trials, the Trayvon Martin shooting, the abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University, the historic Arab Spring from Cairo, Egypt, and the devastating earthquake in Haiti. He has traveled to South Africa several times to cover the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. Allen also covered the historic 2008 Presidential election campaign, where he reported from Chicago’s Grant Park the night of President Barack Obama’s victory. In all, he has traveled to more than seventy-five countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Balkans, Israel and the Palestinian territories, and across Africa, in countries such as Rwanda, South Africa and Somalia, among others. Allen’s reports have appeared on all of NBC’s news platforms including “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today,” and MSNBC.

Allen’s work has earned him many of journalism’s highest honors, including six Overseas Press Club Awards, five Emmys, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards. In 1996, the National Association of Black Journalists named him journalist of the year. Allen has also served on the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Overseers, the Board of the Overseas Press Club, and the Leadership Council of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Allen lives in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area with his wife, Adaora Udoji, and daughter.

Ron Allen was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2014.033

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/18/2014

Last Name

Allen

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lindsay

Occupation
Schools

P.S. 38 James F. Murray School

St Peter's Preparatory School

University of Pennsylvania

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Jersey City

HM ID

ALL06

Favorite Season

Spring, Early Summer

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Sounds Good.$What's Happening?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/22/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Candied Yams

Short Description

Journalist Ron Allen (1957 - ) was a national and international correspondent for over twenty-five years at CBS, ABC and NBC News, and was responsible for the initial coverage of the Rwandan genocide.

Employment

NBC News

ABC News / London

CBS News / Los Angeles, Wash DC

WCVB-TV Boston

WFSB-TV

WBTV

CBS News

US Department of Commerce Census Bureau

Atlantic Community College

Favorite Color

Indigo Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ron Allen's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ron Allen lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ron Allen describes his father's influence

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ron Allen remembers adopting his daughter from Ethiopia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ron Allen talks about his father's community in Jersey City, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ron Allen describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ron Allen describes his siblings and extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ron Allen talks about his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ron Allen describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ron Allen describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ron Allen recalls his early experiences of religions, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ron Allen recalls his early experiences of religions, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ron Allen talks about his interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ron Allen remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ron Allen describes his family's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ron Allen remembers enrolling at St. Peter's Preparatory School in Jersey City, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ron Allen describes his activities at St. Peter's Preparatory School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ron Allen recalls describes his education at St. Peter's Preparatory School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ron Allen recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ron Allen describes his experiences at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ron Allen remembers playing basketball at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ron Allen recalls his master's degree program at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ron Allen talks about his summer activities during college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ron Allen recalls the start of his career in broadcast journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ron Allen remembers joining CBS News

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ron Allen describes the racial demographics of the CBS News room

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ron Allen talks about the minority training program at WCVB-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ron Allen talks about his aspiration to become a foreign correspondent

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ron Allen recalls his transition to WCVB-TV in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ron Allen describes his work as an investigative reporter, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ron Allen describes his work as an investigative reporter, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ron Allen recalls his time at the CBS News bureau in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ron Allen remembers becoming a CBS News correspondent in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ron Allen recalls his start as a foreign correspondent, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ron Allen recalls his start as a foreign correspondent, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ron Allen recalls his transition to ABC News

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ron Allen describes the ABC News bureau in London, England

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ron Allen remembers lessons from his time as a foreign correspondent

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ron Allen talks about his coverage of the Rwandan genocide, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ron Allen talks about his coverage of the Rwandan genocide, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ron Allen reflects upon his growth as a foreign correspondent

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ron Allen talks about his decision to adopt a child from Ethiopia

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ron Allen remembers meeting his wife at the O.J. Simpson trial

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ron Allen talks about his transition to NBC News

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ron Allen remembers his father's death

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ron Allen reflects upon his parents' support for his career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ron Allen recalls his dangerous experiences as a foreign correspondent, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ron Allen recalls his dangerous experiences as a foreign correspondent, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ron Allen reflects upon his transition to domestic news correspondence

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ron Allen talks about diversity in broadcast journalism, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ron Allen talks about diversity in broadcast journalism, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ron Allen describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ron Allen reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ron Allen reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Ron Allen reflects upon the legacy of African Americans in the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ron Allen narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Ron Allen talks about his coverage of the Rwandan genocide, pt. 1
Ron Allen recalls his dangerous experiences as a foreign correspondent, pt. 2
Transcript
But you've talked about Rwanda when we were off camera, about that being a significant assignment for you. And I think we were looking at your photos I think. Am I right--wrong about that? I think (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah, ra, ra--Rwanda was the genocide. There were close to a million people massacred in a very short period of time and--$$And tell why.$$This was a conflict between ethnic groups, the Hutu, majority, and the Tutsi, minority. And in so many African countries, post-colonial--on a post-colonial situation, what, what the colonizers often did was they would take a minority group and essentially conspire with them to run the show to keep the majority group or majority groups in check. And this happened in many places in Africa, and it happened in Rwanda. And then the lid blew off that when the president's [Juvenal Habyarimana] plane crashed, and over years and years of, of the Hutu, majority, feeling like they were being taken advantage of by the minority, Tutsi. So this war broke out, and, and all these people were massacred. And we were--when, when all this started we are in South Africa, it was 1994, and South Africa wa- was just having their first democratic elections. Nelson Mandela was becoming president, and I believe this is April of '94 [1994]. And that is one of the most memorable things I'll--I've, I've ever experienced as well, just seeing the South Africans voting for the first time. I'd been to South Africa a, a number of times up to that point, and when I moved to London [England] one of the first things I wanted to do was get to South Africa because apartheid hadn't ended. And I wanted to see, and experience, and understand what this place was. And I'd studied a bit about it in school [University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] and for the obvious reasons. And the morning of the election, the enduring images of long lines of people standing in this misty morning waiting forever, if they had to, to go vote. Some (unclear) really didn't understand what they were doing. I was in a place, KwaZulu-Natal [South Africa], which was you know, a fairly rural area. Most people are illiterate, you know, they had no real concept of democracy and all that. But this is what they were doing, and they were told it was gonna make life better, and so here, here it was. And, and that was one of the most profound things I've ever seen as well. So after the election, there are these rumblings about this refugee problem, these people fleeing this country north of South Africa--in the middle of Africa--to Rwanda. Who knew--who--what's Rwanda? Nobody really--I mean, people knew, but I didn't really know about it. And so when it really started, the numbers started getting bad, and people started appearing in camps across the--across the border in Tanzania and in Burundi in the other direction. And so we hopped on a plane and flew first to a, a little remote part of Tanzania, and that's where the first camps were of refugees forming. And people are telling this horrible, awful stories about what was going on inside this country. And you couldn't get in from there. You didn't wanna go in from there because it wasn't safe. The borders were sealed off, and people were just living in, in this, this misery and awful conditions in these camps, because all of a sudden it's--you know, there's like hundreds and thousands of people living in the field where there's nothing to sustain them. You know, there's no--you know, they're just there because that's the safe place the way you could walk to across the border. And then we--at, at one point, after doing that for a while, we flew--we flew to Uganda to the north, and we embedded or hooked up with the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the RPF, which was the, the rebel group--Tutsi led rebel group that was gonna try and liberate the country and, and fight the majority Hutu. And so we came--we came down into, into the capital with this military unit, and we were amongst the first to actually see what was going on inside the country, and it was horrific. I mean, it was just everywhere you looked there were--there were people who--dead bodies.$And then the, the next morning, we were presented--we had to appear before a judge, a court--(air quotes) was a financial court of some, some kind. And in, in my case what they found, in my baggage was--there was a--I was getting all my mail shipped to me because I was in Baghdad [Iraq] so long from the London [England] office. And as part of my 401(k) plan with the company, there's a disbursement of savings bonds that you get, and that, that you--they literally send you a chunk of bonds, and, and that was in my mail, and it came to me in Baghdad. And so when they went through our stuff, the border guards saw these things that had [President] George Washington and Ben Franklin's [Benjamin Franklin] picture and said 100--you know, savings bonds that looked like currency. So that was illegal currency that I had brought in. My colleagues, meanwhile, had, you know--well, greenbacks. They had--you know. Because we were leaving, we shut down the office and everything was done in cash, so they had--they took, you know sixty--we had lots of money. And we had these satellite telephones that they--were illegal there too as well. So, make a long story short, when I appeared before the judge, these are financial people, and they knew what this was, and they knew this was my money. And they said, "Oh, okay, you're fine; that's--you're, you're not guilty. We understand that's your money and we're not gonna penalize, but your colleagues however, they're guilty. They're guilty of smuggling--," or whatever and bat- and so we ordered to pay this huge fine. And we scraped the money together from our colleagues who were still in, in, in, in Baghdad, and NBC sent some money here or there or something and, and, and we got out. The whole thing probably took about thirty-six hours or so. And then the war started like the next day. But that--that's one reason. There have been a couple of close calls along the way and a couple of very tense moments. And I guess, not to over--not to be overly dramatic, but I've always believed that there are--you only get a few of those, and I don't know whether it's three or four or nine lives, but I know there's only a limited number of them. And I kind of felt like, okay, this happened. There are--there were other incidents. There was a, a moment in Rwanda when we were pinned down at--near a border, and there was gunfire going in different directions over us, and there was--there was another moment in Zaire, I think where we were. I think there was a, a soldier didn't like something and took us into detention and--I think it's one of the few times I've actually had a gun to my head, where they were--they were sort of pointing it at me. And so and there have been just bad times (laughter). So the combination of the traveling, and getting married [to Adaora Udoji], and being away from family, and these bad experiences--all of the wonderful experiences as well--we decided we needed to move back to the states. And I also wanted to know, okay, so what do you--what do you cash all this in for? You know, what do you in a--in a job professional sense--what is all this worth, all this stuff? And I--and I wanted a different life than I--than I had. Sometimes we--to honest with you, I've been back not ten years and I wonder why I came back (laughter). I know why I came because the travel just became--after 9/11 [September 11, 2001], we were expected to go places and spend six weeks in Kandahar [Afghanistan] or six weeks in wherever, and it just became too much. So, so that's why we moved back.

The Honorable Marc H. Morial

Chief executive officer and politician Marc Haydel Morial was born on January 3, 1958, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the son of Sybil Haydel Morial, a teacher and university administrator, and the late Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, who was the first African American Mayor of New Orleans. Morial attended a Jesuit high school, receiving his diploma in 1976. He earned his B.A. degree in economics and African American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983.

In 1992, Morial served two years in the Louisiana State Senate, where he was recognized as Legislative Rookie of the Year. Prior to his elected service, Morial worked as a private practice lawyer at Adams and Reese, one of the Gulf South’s leading law firms. One of his most noteworthy U.S. Supreme Court cases - Chisom v. Roemer - established that the Voting Rights Act be applied to the election of judges. This led to the election of the first African American judge in Louisiana.

Morial served two terms as mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002. Many improvements were made during his terms as mayor including crime reduction, police reform and the passing of a significant bond issue. In addition, during his last two years in office, Morial served as president of the United States Conference of Mayors. The Morials, father and son, have the distinction of being one of the first African American political dynasties.

In May 2003, Morial was appointed president and CEO of The National Urban League, a revered civil rights organization. Since that appointment, Morial’s Empowerment Agenda has worked to reenergize the League’s diverse constituencies; to build on the strength of its nearly one hundred year old legacy; and to increase its profile both locally and nationally.

Morial has been recognized by Non-Profit Times as one of America's top 50 non-profit executives, and was named one of the "100 Most Influential Blacks in America" by Ebony magazine. In June 2009, Morial was appointed chair of the 2010 Census Advisory Committee.

Morial is married to news anchor Michelle Miller and has two children.

Accession Number

A2006.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/21/2006 |and| 4/4/2006 |and| 5/2/2006 |and| 11/29/2006

11/29/2006

Last Name

Morial

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Schools

St. Gabriel the Archangel School

Christian Brothers School

Jesuit High School

University of Pennsylvania

Georgetown University Law Center

First Name

Marc

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

MOR11

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Galapagos Island

Favorite Quote

Keep The Faith.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/3/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and mayor The Honorable Marc H. Morial (1958 - ) served two terms as mayor of New Orleans, and was appointed president and CEO of the National Urban League in 2003.

Employment

New Orleans City Government

Louisiana Legislature

Xavier University of Louisiana

U.S. Senate

National Urban League

Barham and Churchill

Marc Morial, Attorney At Law

Louisiana Senate

Adams and Reese LLP

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes Pontchartrain Park in New Orleans

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his Creole family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his Creole family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's political campaigns

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his parents' civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the religious leaders of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's judicial campaigns

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mother's civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers New Orleans' Christian Brothers School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers playing sports in Pontchartrain Park, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls playing on New Orleans' all-star basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers his disinterest in music lessons

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the importance of sports in his life

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his father's inauguration to Louisiana's legislature

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's tenure in the Louisiana House of Representatives

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers meeting legislators as a page

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers playing sports in Pontchartrain Park, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers working on his father's campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls creating signage for his father's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's mayoral campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's mayoral campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the wards of New Orleans

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial reflects upon how his parents raised him

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his experience at Jesuit High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his social life at Jesuit High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes the New Orleans police strike of 1979, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes the New Orleans police strike of 1979, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his decision to study economics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial recalls his experience at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 3

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his arrival at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial explains his decision to attend a majority school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the diversity of the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his organizational involvement in college

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls how his political aspirations developed

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his role in the Louisiana legislature

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his role models at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his mentors at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls graduating from the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers hearing Reverend Jesse L. Jackson speak

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his role in Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's impact on New Orleans

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his position at Barham and Churchill

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his aspirations as a young lawyer

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 4

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his early business ventures

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers State of Louisiana v. Shropshire

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls founding his private law practice

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his organizational involvements

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his interest in running for a political office

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his campaign for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his campaign for the Louisiana State Senate

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial talks about David Duke's campaigns

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes David Duke's impact on Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his time in the Louisiana State Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to run for mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mayoral campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his politics and ideology

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes New Orleans' public safety package

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his accomplishments as mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his and his father's mayoral terms

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes Hurricane Georges and Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes how he continued his father's mayoral legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his first campaign for mayor of New Orleans, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his first campaign for mayor of New Orleans, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his second term as mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his National Urban League interview, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his National Urban League interview, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his National Urban League presidency, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his National Urban League presidency, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial talks about his wife and children

DASession

1$4

DATape

1$8

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's political campaigns
The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to run for mayor of New Orleans
Transcript
So, I know you were just, really first grade when he [Morial's father, Ernest Morial] became a lawyer. Is it, was he the first black lawyer (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) My father was the first black to finish from the Louisiana State University Law School [Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana]. There were a handful of black lawyers in Louisiana before he became a lawyer, the late great A.P. Tureaud, to name, most of them had attended Howard University [Washington, D.C.]. I think a few had gone to a school in Missouri, Lincoln--there was a Lincoln Law School [Lincoln University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri], I believe, at one time, but many of them had attended Howard. My father attended LSU [Louisiana State University]. He became the first black student to attend LSU--the second black student to attend LSU, and the first black to graduate from LSU Law School in 1954. So, so that was an accomplishment in and of itself and he began practicing law in 1957 with A.P. Tureaud who was the dean of civil rights lawyers, so my father became a civil rights lawyer. So, he was co-counsel on every major civil rights case, desegregation of schools, desegregation of all public facilities. His name is on the pleadings. He was involved in all those case. It really defined the course of his life, what he did in the late 1950s as an understudy to A.P. Tureaud. So, he got involved in the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and in 1962 became president of the NAACP New Orleans [Louisiana] branch and remained there for three years and then became an assistant U.S. attorney and through the intervention of people like Hale Boggs and others and I, I remember him saying he was really reluctant to take the job as an assistant U.S. attorney because it meant being a government employee. It meant sacrificing and giving up most of his law practice. But, he did it because A.P. Tureaud and a fellow by the name of Arthur Chapital who were his mentors. Arthur Chapital had been the president of the New Orleans branch of the NAACP and later became the chairman of the NAACP state conference. Arthur Chapital, A.P. Tureaud and then my father's older brother, Walter Morial [Walter Morial, Jr.], were really his mentors in life and they convinced him that because of the opportunity to open a door and make history he should take this job as an assistant U.S. attorney because there had never been a black in a position like that ever in the history of Louisiana. So, he did that and then he in 1967 he ran for the state house of representatives and was elected. There had never been an African American elected to the legislature [Louisiana State Legislature] in the 20th century when he got elected in 1967 and he ran against an entrenched incumbent white legislature by the name of Stephen Daley, interesting, and won the race in the first primary without the need for a runoff. And you know I remember this, my father's first campaign I remember vividly I was only nine years old, I would go Uptown [New Orleans, Louisiana], we get on the back of his sound truck with a band and ride around the neighborhoods and campaign on Saturday and go to churches and rallies and I think my father brought to campaigning something that was a hallmark of every campaign he ever ran and it certainly became a hallmark of mine and that is it was the organizing methods of the Civil Rights Movement, two political campaigns, very grassroots oriented, very community oriented, a lot of volunteers, a lot of phone banking, a lot of knocking on doors, a lot of working in the churches, which in those days was not, not all that common in New Orleans politics. So, people got an opportunity to see a candidate who had never seen candidates before, and so it was, that race was, was historic and, and so he went to the legislature and got seated in 1968.$So I had two years and a little bit more in the Senate [Louisiana State Senate] and after my second year in the Senate I started entertaining the thoughts of running for mayor [of New Orleans, Louisiana]. And it's funny because I, I sort of vowed at the time that I didn't want to run for mayor, that I was gonna stay in the Senate because I liked the Senate. Really being in the Senate is probably the single best political job I ever had. I mean, I enjoyed being mayor. It, it trumps everything, but the Senate was a place where you had colleagues. The Senate was a place of collegiality. The Senate was a place in those days where we could get something done. The Senate was a place where we had a nice coalition. The Senate was a place that I learned a lot, and you know then I decided and it was in effect--$$Who convinced you that you should run?$$I don't really know who convinced me. It's almost like it was spontaneous combustion. I was very peaked, upset, not happy about the direction of the city. Crime had gotten out of control. There seem to be just complete lethargy in the government. I went to a meeting in City Hall [New Orleans, Louisiana] and it looked like they hadn't polished the floors. The bathrooms were dirty, you know, and you see these sorts of things and I think something went off in me and said you know what I can do a better job. The other thing is there were a number of people running for mayor. I call it, it was four people running, five people running, all of them were fifty and over and I was thirty-five and I'm, I sort of remember reading the paper, you know, and saying you know what are we gonna get if any of these guys win? It's gonna be more of the same, the same old things, no fire, no change, no nothing. And I decided to run very late. I remember I announced my candidacy on November 10th, 1993. The final deadline was December 1st, and got out there and just put the old grassroots Morial coalition together and we stormed the barracks. And it was, you know, I got in the race and several of the candidates, particularly some of the African American candidates were cross with me. They were mad with me. Why am I running?$$Why were they?$$Well they were jealous because they knew that my presence in the race meant that they, it made their job much more difficult. You know I had a--$$How much did the legacy play into your running?$$I think the legacy played a lot into the idea that at thirty-five and with two years in the Senate I can be a credible candidate. I think that the brand name, the Morial name in New Orleans [Louisiana] represents probably progressive effective leadership, effective leadership. The idea of getting things done, making things happen, and the idea of strength and the idea of you know multiracial coalitions. I think that's what the Morial political brand represents in New Orleans.

The Honorable Jerry Butler

Award-winning performer, producer and composer Jerry "The Iceman" Butler was born in Sunflower, Mississippi on December 8, 1939. He moved to Chicago, Illinois at the age of three and grew up in an area later known as the Cabrini-Green Housing Projects. Butler met Curtis Mayfield, with whom he began his musical career as part of a quintet called "Jerry Butler and The Impressions." In 1958, The Impressions had their first hit with the classic "For Your Precious Love," after which the group cordially split and 18-year-old Butler went on to pursue a solo career. Spanning five decades, Butler's musical career has produced over 50 albums, numerous hit songs and three Grammy Award nominations. Butler, a musical icon, is known for his smooth, distinguished voice.

Butler has had numerous hit songs go platinum during his career, including "For Your Precious Love" with The Impressions (1958), "He Will Break Your Heart" (1960), "Moon River" (1961), "Never Gonna Give You Up" (1967), "Hey Western Union Man" (1968), "Brand New Me" (1969), "Only The Strong Survive" (1969), and "Ain't Understanding Mellow" (1973). In addition to his recording credits, Butler has hosted and appeared on numerous television variety specials; been nominated for three Grammy Awards; and received various awards for singing, composing, and publishing, including several from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, two Billboard magazine awards, two Humanitarian Awards and several Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Awards. Butler was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1994, a non-profit organization for which he has served as the Chairman of the Board.

Influenced by the Civil Rights movement, Butler entered politics in the mid-1980s as a campaign supporter of Chicago's first African American Mayor, Harold Washington. Butler himself was first elected to public office in 1985 as the Cook County Commissioner, where he served three four-year terms. In 1993, at the age of 55, Butler received a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Governor's State College in University Park, Illinois. Butler and his wife, Annette, married in 1959, reside in Chicago and are parents to twin sons.

Accession Number

A2002.070

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/11/2002

Last Name

Butler

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Edward Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts

Salazar Elem Bilingual Center

Washburne Trade School

First Name

Jerome "Jerry"

Birth City, State, Country

Sunflower

HM ID

BUT01

Favorite Season

None

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/8/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Music composer, county commissioner, music producer, and singer The Honorable Jerry Butler (1939 - ) is a legendary soloist known as "the Iceman," and an original member of the Impressions. Butler is also the former Cook County commissioner.

Employment

Cook County Board of Commissioners

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:6451,109:8068,152:17930,306:21690,373:34554,562:36604,594:42426,721:50940,818:66710,1063:72398,1191:80576,1442:100934,1797:155180,2416$0,0:1700,66:15368,186:17216,227:17636,233:25444,335:32620,434:43302,617:68270,1040:80975,1239:107129,1711:131960,2050:147720,2296:148545,2317:149220,2331:174232,2693:183392,2878:198126,3069:207862,3222:225882,3503:226421,3511:228808,3564:231888,3640:245937,3858:256826,4023:265712,4124:266016,4129:274720,4232
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jerry Butler's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes his childhood memories of Monroe County, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler describes the apartments where he lived during his childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler describes his childhood home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jerry Butler describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jerry Butler describes his reaction to his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jerry Butler describes two teachers who inspired him

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Jerry Butler talks about his experience at Washburne Trade School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about the racism of some labor unions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes becoming interested in being a chef

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about the historical importance of the Lawson YMCA in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler discusses his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler describes the formation of The Impressions

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes how Eddie Thomas became the manager for The Impressions and their record deal with Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes the origin of his song 'For Your Precious Love'

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler recalls how he felt the first time he heard 'For Your Precious Love' on the radio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler describes his top billing with The Impressions

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler describes the members of The Impressions and their roles within the group

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jerry Butler describes why he left The Impressions

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Jerry Butler describes leaving The Impressions

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler recounts his fear that Roy Hamilton would cover 'For Your Precious Love'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes Vee-Jay Records, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler describes Vee-Jay Records, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler talks about his manager, Irv Nahan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about Irv Nahan's influence on his career at Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes the origin of his nickname, "The Iceman"

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler talks about touring as a solo musician

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler talks about his songwriting work with Curtis Mayfield

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler discusses the importance of owning the rights to his own songs

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler talks about the management of his solo career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler describes his ambitions as a solo performer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes the music scene in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler comments on being influenced by Nat Cole and others

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler talks about the decline of Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler describes the start and success of Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes the potential for Vee-Jay Records to have grown bigger than Motown

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler talks about Ewart Abner's departure from Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler describes the origin of Queen Booking Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about leaving Queen Booking Agency

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes his relationship with Curtis Mayfield

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about meeting his new lawyer and manager, Bill Matheson

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler talks about Bill Mathewson finding unsigned contracts with Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about signing with Mercury Records in 1966

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes his first recording with Mercury Records

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes meeting songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler reflects upon working with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler refers to his writing of 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' with Otis Redding

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler reflects on working with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about songwriting with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes the differences between the "Philadelphia Sound" and the "Sounds of Chicago"

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about his songwriting workshop at Mercury Records in 1969

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes his Mercury Records contract

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about meeting Natalie Cole

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler talks about Terry Callier

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes his songwriting workshop

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler describes his career at Motown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler describes his recording 'I Stand Accused'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler describes recording 'I Stand Accused'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler talks about singing with Patti LaBelle

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about meeting the guitarist Robert "Boogie" Bowles

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes an encounter with Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler recalls attending Dionne Warwick's birthday party with Don Cornelius

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler talks about helping Don Cornelius launch 'Soul Train' nationwide

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler reflects upon what he would have done differently in his music career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler talks about his musical talent

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler shares his views on what makes a good performance

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about balancing music and his other occupations

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler talks about his transition out of the music industry

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler describes his entry into politics, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes his entry into politics, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about his experience running for County Commissioner of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes what he has learned as a Cook County Commissioner

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler talks about how he has been blessed

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler talks about the issues he has dealt with on the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler reflects on his experience in the music industry

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler reflects on the current state of the music industry, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler reflects on the current state of the music industry, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes the founding of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler describes the importance of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler talks about the legacy of Rhythm and Blues

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler reflects upon what his father would have thought of his career

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$8

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Jerry Butler describes the origin of his nickname, "The Iceman"
Jerry Butler describes his entry into politics, pt. 2
Transcript
Now I want to go--I want to stay within the Vee-Jay [Records] years though some--and really talk because are your early years as an artist. Those were still very productive years in terms of you know the records that you had--$$Um-hmm.$$--you know the songs that came out of that period. But before I do that, I'd like to go back to Georgie Woods because he gave you the name "The Iceman."$$(Smiles).$$But you never say how that even happened, you know just that he gave you the name "The Iceman." And so, why did he call you Ice--?$$Well, you know there are always stories about how things happened and some people say, "Well he started calling him 'The Iceman' because he was going to be a chef and he was doing ice sculpture" which was--it had nothing to do with the whole thing. What really happened was I was fresh out of the group and had gone there as a matter of fact, on my honeymoon. My wife [Annette Butler] and I got married [June 21, 1959] and I went back to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] because we needed the money, to perform. And Georgie had said, "Well you know if you come and perform you can spend your honeymoon and make some money at the same time," you know. And little did I know that wives don't want to hear about making money on honeymoons. But I was 19 years old, so what did I know. I thought it was the wise and prudent thing to do, so I did it. Had I lived to do it over again, I don't think I would do that. Anyway, I'm on stage performing and the sound, the electricity goes out and so all of the electrical instruments are silenced. And from my upbringing in the church was that you keep singing, you don't stop. You just keep on going, let the spirit let it flow. And so when it all stopped, I just kept on singing. It was quiet, the theater wasn't that large and the people could hear me. And when I finished, the audience for some reason, stood up and applauded what I had done and George ran on stage and said, that's the coolest thing I ever saw. So cool, going to call you "The Iceman." And the next morning he went to the radio station, WDAS, and that's what he started doing. And it's been with me ever since.$$So that meant really someone who was not phased, who could handle themselves under any circumstances, really?$$(Shaking head yes). Or under those circumstances.$$Cool, (unclear) cool?$$Yes exactly, the superlative of cool.$$For cool, in control.$So tell the story. So you go on--$$Which story?$$The rest of the story. How you got elected, [HM] Pervis Spann included.$$Oh man, a funny story. So anyway, I said well what do you do when you run for election? He said well first thing you need is money and people. Maybe not necessarily in that order but those are the two things that you need most. You got to let folks know you're running. You need a campaign manager. So I hired Carolyn Rush who was [HM] Bobby Rush's wife, who is Bobby Rush's wife rather, to be the campaign manager. She said, "Well you got to raise some money." I said, "Okay." So we have a meeting at Barbara Proctor's apartment on the South Side and Barbara Proctor says "Well you know I'll do the advertising, I'll do this and I'll do that and this--(makes sounds)." And they said, "We got to raise $250,000.00." I said, "$250,000.00? The job only pays $40,000.00. What are we going to do with all that money?" He said, "Well you know this is an expensive game." I said, "I don't know if I want to play. But we're out here now so let's go." So I said, "Well I know one thing that we can do, we can put on a fundraiser at the Arie Crown [Theater in Chicago, Illinois] and I'll call up some of my friends and I won't ask them to come and do it for nothing. I'll just ask them to do it of the favored nations and pay everybody $1,500.00 or something to come." So I call Pervis Spann and I said "You know you do the promotion thing and this is what I'm doing." Because he had asked me once before if I ever thought about getting into politics and I said yes, so I knew I could count on him to help me. So he said "Okay Butler," that--so now I've got an engagement in Washington, D.C. that I had been doing for, at that time, about four or five years and it was going to take me out of town for about a week, ten days. So I said, "Well okay, I'll get on a plane and go. I know Pervis will take care of this. And when I get back all I have to do is go do the show and we'll be straight." Well when I get back I find out that nothing has been done. So I call Pervis, I said, "Hey man, I thought you--he said, well Jerry you didn't leave me any money." I said, "but you didn't trust me. You didn't think my money was good?" He said, "Well Jerry you know, you're talking about lots of money here. I-" So the question then becomes well what do we do? We've got the Arie Crown Theater, we've got The Impressions, we've got Curtis [Mayfield], we've got [HM] Tyrone Davis, we've got Gene Chandler and they're all coming to town in ten days and you don't have hardly any tickets sold. So I said, um, um, um. I said, "Okay I tell you what, we've got about 500 seats that we're going to sell at $100.00 a pop to businesses and folks like that." And so we rushed out and we sold those 500 tickets at $100.00 a pop. I said and for that we're going to have pretty much what we had at the DuSable Museum. We're going to have nice little hors d'oeuvres and some food and tea and crumpets and we'll invite the mayor and the mayor will come and he'll say "Yeah, we want Jerry to run" and then I said and we're giving the rest of the tickets away. Okay, that's a plan and we ran with that. And now Harold [Washington] has been booked to do something for [HM] Dorothy Tillman but he says, "I will stop by on my way to Dorothy's function at your function." And so he stops in and naturally wherever the mayor goes, all the TV cameras come a-rolling. And so the TV cameras rolled in with the mayor and he said "I'm supporting Jerry" and he held up my hand and do-do-do. And one of the reporters asked somebody who had paid a hundred dollars, how much did you pay to get in here? He said $100.00. And so he did the math real quick, 2,500 people at a hundred dollars a pop, $250,000.00. And he rushed out of there and that was the headline the next morning on the [Chicago] Sun-Times. "Jerry Butler raises $250,000.00 one night." So that put me in the league with all of the heavy hitters in town when in fact we hadn't made a dime. But the bottom line was we couldn't have bought that kind of exposure and so it just--all things worked for good.$$So it was all meant to be?$$Yes.$$So how-

Ulysses Ford

Ulysses Grant Ford, III was born September 28, 1943 in Charlotte, North Carolina to Roberta and Ulysses Ford, II. Ford graduated from West Charlotte High School in 1961. Moving to Talladega, Alabama to attend Talladega College, Ford pursued his interest in mathematics and received a B.A. in 1965. That year, he married Beverly Odom Ford, who now owns the consulting firm ASM & Associates. They have three sons.

From 1965 until 1968, Ford worked as a math teacher and basketball coach at Charlotte Catholic High School. In 1968, Ford became an accountant and worked for Allstate Insurance and Equitable Life Insurance. In 1972, he began his career in civil service as an administrative assistant for the public works department of the City of Charlotte. In 1978, Ford left Charlotte to become the Director of Solid Waste Management for the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ford went on to hold the title of Director of City Services for seven years in Fort Worth, Texas. Then he moved to Houston and served as Director of Public Works until 1992.

At this point in his career, Ford moved from government service to business and became responsible for marketing as the Vice President of Waste Management, Inc., a post he held for six years. In 1998, Ford founded SDC Consulting, Inc. in Macon, Georgia. SDC represents private companies, helping them increase their access to local governments across the country and thus combines the two main areas of his life's work.

Ulysses Ford, III has been a member of 100 Black Men of America since 1998 and served as president of the Municipal Waste Management Association of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Ulysses Ford passed away on March 20, 2012.

Accession Number

A2002.020

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2002

Last Name

Ford

Maker Category
Schools

West Charlotte High School

Fairview Elementary

Northwest School Of The Arts

Talladega College

First Name

Ulysses

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

FOR03

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaska, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do The Things That You Fear And The Death Of Fear Is Certain.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/28/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Macon

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Death Date

3/20/2012

Short Description

Business consulting chief executive Ulysses Ford (1943 - 2012 ) was the president of SDS Consulting.

Employment

Charlotte Catholic High School

Allstate Insurance Company

Equitable Life Insurance

Charlotte Department of Public Works

City of Ann Arbor, Michigan

City of Forth Worth, Texas

City of Houston, Texas

Waste Management

SDC Consulting

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:14636,204:30030,378:30435,384:31731,418:48524,667:58806,838:80090,1142$0,0:7781,115:47218,585:57265,781:71594,1020:79312,1484:138217,2211:161685,2695:178030,2872
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ulysses Ford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford describes his maternal grandfather's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford describes his maternal grandfather's first job

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford describes the difficulties his family faced after his father left

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ulysses Ford talks about his household chores

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's personality, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ulysses Ford describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ulysses Ford describes his segregated childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ulysses Ford describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at the Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience as a Boy Scout, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience as a Boy Scout, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford describes his pride at receiving his Eagle Scout badge

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's and grandfather's reactions to his receiving his Eagle Scout badge

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford talks about his childhood athletics

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford describes receiving a scholarship to Talladega College

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ulysses Ford describes being a good student

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ulysses Ford talks about deciding to attend Talladega College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's interest in his athletics

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about growing up without a father

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about his mentor and teacher at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford remembers his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford remembers meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his Civil Rights activism, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his Civil Rights activism, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's reaction to his Civil Rights activities

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses his grandfather's reaction to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about overcoming his fears about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford describes meeting his wife at Talladega College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford describes his wife Beverly Ann Odom's personality

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford talks about looking for jobs after college

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes becoming a high school teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his experience teaching at Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford talks about being hired as an underwriter for Allstate Insurance Company

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience as an underwriter for Allstate

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford discusses the racism he encountered at Allstate

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses becoming an insurance salesman

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford discusses his alcoholism

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford discusses starting work for the Public Works Department in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford discusses someone he inspired

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience in the Public Works Department, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience in the Public Works Department, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford discusses recovering from his alcoholism, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses recovering from his alcoholism, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford discusses leaving the Public Works Department of Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experiences in the Public Works Department in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about the difference between a strong mayor and council manager forms of government

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford discusses privatizing garbage pickup in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford discusses his growing reputation in Public Works Departments

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his grandfather's passing

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford discusses his move into the private sector

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at Waste Management

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about launching SDC Consulting

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his motivations and mentors

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford discusses books that have inspired him

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford narrates his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Ulysses Ford remembers meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ulysses Ford talks about launching SDC Consulting
Transcript
But the momentous occasion in my life was when Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] came to campus. And again, as luck would have it, or fate, or whatever you want to call it... The three rooms that we would have for male guests on campus were in my dorm. And the one Dr. King was in was on my floor, right across the hall from... our doors faced each other across the hall. [HM] Jesse Jackson came with him, it was the first time I met Jesse. And I know if Dr. King were alive, I don't see a reason why he would remember me, as I don't see a reason why Jesse would. But I did get to meet them. And I can remember--because Dr. King came back a couple times--that we would sit in his room on his bed and talk till daylight. He was talking about all kind of things. He was very knowledgeable about what other things were going on in the world, whether it was sports or politics or whatever. And I can remember--not just me, I mean there were three or four of us. It was Tracy, my roommate at that time, and we sat there and talked with Dr. King. And sure enough, the day finally came, in the spring of '62' [1962], still my freshman year.$And then in October... Well, I formed my company in August of '98' [1998]. In October of '98' [1998], I began to work it. And those relationships that I had developed over the thirty years just did it for me. What I do is represent private companies desiring to do business with local governments. So, if you've got a good or a service that you want to market to anybody--to any city or county in the country--then I'd like to be on your team, to help you get that business. I mentioned getting to know the staffs of these professional organizations. I remember a client saying that they wanted to go to Salt Lake City [Utah], because the Olympics was coming. And they financed airport work, and they knew from Atlanta [Georgia] that Salt Lake City would be doing a lot of work at their airport, and they wanted to be the bond financier of it. And I said to myself, "I don't know anybody in Salt Lake City. I never... to my knowledge, I've never met a Mormon." (Laughter). So I said, "Um." So, I called the Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors [Tom Cochran]. I said, "Tom, who do I know in Salt Lake City?" He says, "You know Deedee." Deedee Corradini was the mayor. I said "Well, I know Deedee to speak, and she may know me to speak, but we don't know each other. You know, we're not buddy-buddy." "Oh yeah, you do." He said, "Hang around." About thirty minutes later, Tom calls back. He says, "See, I told you Deedee knows you, she's waiting on your phone call." Sure enough, I call up Deedee, take my client out, and we got the business. (Laughter). So, those kind of relationships worked, as well as me being able to pick up the phone and call a Solid Waste director, or a Public Works director. I remember when I was with Waste, and we were going after the city of St. Louis, and another company had the business. And supposedly the city, the Solid Waste director, really liked the other company, and wasn't interested in changing. The other company had had the business for 15 years or something. We put our bid on the table, and we were high bid. Not high, we were the second high bid. But we came in and did our presentation. And I'll never forget when we walked in to do our presentation, there was Steve sitting there. And he said, "Oh, hell, Waste Management has got to be serious now. They done brought that damn Euly Ford here." Well, I had forgotten Steve was a Solid Waste director in St. Louis. I'd flat-out forgotten. Steve and I had been on the Education Foundation for eight years; we had some real war stories to tell. (Laughter). You know, we got the business. And people say when we left that night, Steve was the one that converted everybody to vote for Waste Management. So, those relationships have come in very, very handy for me. And now, I'm able to help my clients that in turn help me.