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Larry Bailey

Accountant Larry Bailey was born on September 11, 1950 in Sanford, Florida to Richard and Inez Bailey. He graduated with his B.S. degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) in 1972. He went on to enroll at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Graduate School of Business. In 1976, he graduated with his M.B.A. degree in finance. Bailey is a certified public accountant, and holds memberships with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the District of Columbia Certified Public Accountants.

From 1972 to 1976, Bailey worked as an Internal Revenue Service agent, and was also a member of the Richmond (Virginia) District Speakers Bureau. When Bailey graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP offered him a position at the firm. As an associate, Bailey work focused on taxes and consulting services. He offered financial advices to foreign and domestic institutions, insurance and investment agencies, energy corporations, real estate brokers, and individuals. In 1976, Bailey joined the multinational firm of PricewaterCoopers, LLP as a junior partner. In this capacity, he specialized in providing due diligence review services for the Resolution Trust Corporation and the Government National Mortgage Corporation. Bailey also provided consultation services to private and public agencies involving tax strategies and contract negotiation.

In 2000, Baily and Keven Joseph Davis negotiated a five-year, $40 million endorsement contract between tennis player Venus Williams and sports apparel company Reebok. It was the largest endorsement contract signed by a female athlete in U.S. sports history. When Williams turned professional, she did not have an endorsement deal. Her father, Richard Williams, in 1995 requested Bailey and Davis to negotiate an early deal with Reebok after several sports management agencies showed interest. Bailey also played a major role in developing the career of Serena Williams. His development efforts at PricewaterCoopers led to well over $100 million of new and recurring business for the Firm, some of which is ongoing. Bailey founded LDB Consulting, Inc. in 2002. As president, he oversees strategic financial and tax consulting services to corporations, small business and private individuals. 

Bailey’s achievements have been recognized by professional and academic institutions. In 1995, he was also inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Black Entertainment Sports Lawyers Association. Bailey was honored with the SIUC Distinguished Service Award by at the 2012 spring commencement ceremony.  He is one of the founders of SIUC’s Blacks Interested in Business (BIB), which currently provides capital to minority owned communications companies, and received the BIB Leadership Award in 2011.  The College of Business inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1991. Bailey is also a member of the Board of Directors of Broadcast Capital Inc. Baily lives with his wife, Loleta Thomas, in Washington D.C.

Larry D. Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2012.

Accession Number




Interview Date


Last Name


Maker Category

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Southern Illinois University

James A. Garfield Elementary School

Seatack Elementary School

Maryland Park Junior High School

Central High School

First Name


Birth City, State, Country




Favorite Season

Fall, Spring



Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

God's Gift To You Are The Talents He Gives To You. Your Gift To Him Is What You Do With Them.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date


Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City




Short Description

Accountant Larry Bailey (1950 - ) was a licensed CPA and former partner at KMPG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. As a private consultant, he represented tennis players Venus Williams and Serena Wiliams.


KMPG Peat Marwick

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

LDB Consulting, LLP

Internal Revenue Service

Favorite Color


Timing Pairs

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Bailey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Bailey lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Bailey describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Bailey describes his mother's upbringing in Sanford, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Bailey recalls his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Bailey describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Bailey talks about his father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Bailey describes how his parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Bailey remembers his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Bailey describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Bailey describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Bailey describes his neighborhood in Southeast Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Larry Bailey remembers playing baseball as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Larry Bailey recalls his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Bailey remembers his elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Bailey describes his school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Bailey recalls his early interests, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Bailey recalls his early interests, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Bailey describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Bailey recalls the historic events of the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Bailey remembers his parents' money management skills

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Bailey recalls his leadership roles during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Bailey recalls his aspiration to study business

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Bailey recalls his decision to attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Bailey remembers changing his major to accounting

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Larry Bailey reflects upon his experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Larry Bailey remembers the campus community in Carbondale, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Bailey recalls the Blacks in Business student organization

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Bailey talks about his political affiliation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Bailey remembers his summers during college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Bailey recalls joining the Internal Revenue Service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Bailey describes his position in the Internal Revenue Service

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Bailey recalls his decision to attend the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Bailey recalls his influences at the Wharton School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Bailey recalls his challenges at the Wharton School

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Bailey remembers obtaining his certified public accountant license

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Bailey recalls his prospects after graduating from business school

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Bailey recalls his position at the Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell accounting firm

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Larry Bailey remembers his involvement with African American organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Bailey remembers becoming a partner at Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Bailey recalls his panel at the National Student Business League

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Bailey describes his role as a partner at Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Bailey recalls joining Coopers and Lybrand

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Bailey remembers his trip to Senegal

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Bailey recalls overseeing the African operations for Coopers and Lybrand

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Bailey describes Cooper and Lybrand's presence in South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Larry Bailey talks about Africare

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Larry Bailey remembers his friend, Willard W. "Woody" Brittain, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Larry Bailey describes his transition to the financial planning industry

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Larry Bailey talks about Venus Williams and Serena Williams

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Bailey talks about his clients at LBD Consulting, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Bailey reflects upon the growth of technology

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Bailey talks about discrimination in Corporate America

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Bailey talks about his mentorship of young accountants

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Bailey talks about networking in the black business community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Bailey reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Bailey reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Bailey describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larry Bailey reflects upon his family

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Larry Bailey describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Larry Bailey narrates his photographs







Larry Bailey recalls his aspiration to study business
Larry Bailey talks about Venus Williams and Serena Williams
All right, so in, in high school [at Central High School, Capitol Heights, Maryland] now did you have any--were, were, were you a good mathematician?$$I was okay in math, yeah. And you know it's really funny, people think that you know they look at you, you're a CPA [certified public accountant], you're good at math. And I just laugh at them. I think you have to have good analytical skills, particularly today's environment because you know everybody uses a computer or a calculator. But you know I've always had very good analytical skills and that's what I think it takes to be a good accountant or a good financial advisor, not math.$$Okay. So young people watching this if they're--they don't have--they're not natural mathematicians, that's not a hindrance?$$No, no. I mean if you're a mathematician, maybe you're going to be in physics or engineering or something like that. But you know in, to be in business you have to have good analytical skills. You have to have good--you know. And, and one of the things that troubles me now is, is that I don't think you know and even mine are slipping now with the--because of the way you write on your iPads and your BlackBerries. And your good--the writing skills just aren't what they used to be. And, but I think you have to have good oral communication skills and, and I think that you know the math skills yeah, I mean you know it's mostly the computer and I think if you have good analytical skills you can find your way around the computer.$$Okay. Now in terms of just thinking about this now, reflecting back on it, what influenced you in terms of you know developing an interest or some kind of a grounding in business when you were a teenager? I mean what did you see around you? Who did you--$$Oh, well--$$I mean you worked at McDonald's, that has to be some--$$Well that was good, but I--be--after my freshman year in college [at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois] I worked for my uncle up in Rochester, New York, my Uncle James [James Smith, Sr.] and my Aunt Emma Smith [ph.], they had a grocery store. It was called J-E Grocery [J-E Grocery, Inc.] in Rochester, New York. And I went up and worked for a summer there for them in their store. My uncle was one of these people that you know both of them believed in hard work. They started out buying a little store and lived in the back room and they kept building and building it. And the first year I came up there I was mopping the floors, stocking the shelves and it was a good sized grocery store and worked the cash register a little bit. The second year I came up I was working the cash register and, and in the office a little bit. And then the last year I came up which was the year before my senior year I actually ran the store. I was in the office making deposits. I think it was the first time they ever took a vacation during the summer. They went away and left me in charge. So that was my really first exposure to, to the business world. The true business world, you know.$$All right.$$Yeah, other than in school and academically but it was the first--and, and it was the first time I ever really knew what it was like and I tell my students this and my staff this, that you know if you finish something, step back and look at it and see, does it make sense? That way you know if it's right or wrong 'cause I'll never forget, I was filling out a payroll tax report for my uncle or some type of tax report and I looked at the way it was worded and the percentage to me meant a certain number the way to do it. And so I--and I brought it in to my uncle to look at it was, it was a big number. And he said, "Larry [HistoryMaker Larry Bailey], but just think about it, if the number was that big, I would be out of business." And so I had interpreted it wrong and it's, it's something that stuck with me. And I tell young people you know when they would bring something to me you know and you know when I, when I--as I went--worked my way up through the firm [Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell; KMPG] and I was reviewing other people's work. And I would say if you would stop and look at this, you would see it makes no sense. It's wrong. I learned that from that one experience with my uncle and I've never forgotten it.$$Okay. So you had to think in terms of proportions and what's appropriate--$$Yeah, what, what makes sense, does this make sense, okay? And when you look at it you know--I, I--just recently I was looking at something and a client is selling an asset and he wanted a proof of funds and what they sent us, I just looked at them. I said, "This, this deal is never going to close. I mean this number makes no sense. It makes no sense." And it didn't make any sense and the transaction never closed. So, but I learned that from my uncle just step back and look at it, you know. You know sometimes you can get caught up with trying to get something to, to close and be done that you kind of lose sight of reality. But you know if you step back and look at it, I think it, it really will, will save you a lot of time, a lot of frustration.$And so I think she was nine and Venus [Venus Williams] was sh- several weeks short of her tenth birthday.$$And there is a photo that shows Serena was ve- very short. She wasn't--$$She was nine years old. She could barely see over the net. I thinks that's the photo that--I have that photo at home I think but I think the one that you're referring to was the one that Bill Rhoden [William C. Rhoden] did when Keven [Keven Davis] died. There was a story he did in The New York Times right after Christmas last year. And was when the two of us were together with them when they were little girls. And so I've still been in, you know involved but you know while I'm their financial advisor I'm as part of the family. I mean I've watched them grow up. As I tell people, I'm more proud of the two fine young ladies that they have become as just opposed to their tennis I mean academically and what they're trying to do with their careers off the court. And Keven and I were very, very involved within their early days before they got their management companies. And you know it was really funny that I think someone in The New York Times did a story once and said that their father [Richard Williams] wasn't as crazy as people thought he was. He went out and hired a CPA [certified public accountant] and a partner in the largest accounting firm in the world at that time. And Keven was bar review at Berkeley [University of California Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, California] and a partner in one of the largest law firms in Seattle [Washington] at that time. And so we were there and did a lot of their early deals before they got their management companies involved and you know he was a great friend and he was a great mentor to the girls. And as a matter of fact when Serena [Serena Williams] won the U.S. Open [U.S. Open Tennis Championships] just last week I--she--went up and gave her the biggest hug and I said, "This was for Keven." And she said, "Larry [HistoryMaker Larry Bailey], I miss him so much." And he was a, just a great guy. Great guy.