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Anthony Reed

Marathoner Anthony R. Reed was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 2, 1955. At the age of eight, Reed was diagnosed with a pre-diabetic condition. He graduated from John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1973. Reed graduated from Webster University with his B.A. degrees in mathematics and business management in 1978. After enrolling at Abilene Christian University in Dallas, Reed received his M.B.A. degree in business administration in 1982. He went on to earn his M.S. degree in accounting and his certification in supply chain management from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1992 and 2008, respectively. Reed is a Certified Public Accountant and certified Project Management Professional.

In 1977, Reed began his professional career as a computer programmer. He moved from St. Louis to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in 1978, and worked in IT management and executive positions for various Dallas-based organizations. In these roles, Reed was responsible for overseeing US or worldwide information technology applications. As an adjunct professor, Reed taught management, IT, accounting, and project management courses; and has authored over fifty books and articles. Since 1994, he has managed his own international accounting and project management consulting firm, Anthony R. Reed, CPA P.C. In addition to his academic and professional achievements, Reed is an accomplished marathoner. He began long-distance running in 1975 to combat his pre-diabetic condition. Reed, a certified running coach, is the first African American to compete in marathons (26.2 miles/42.2K) on all seven continents, including Antarctica. He also completed over one-hundred and twenty marathons in forty-eight states, and won trophies in various age groups and weight divisions. Reed is also on the Dallas (formerly White Rock) Marathon board of directors.

Reed’s published memoir is Running Shoes Are Cheaper than Insulin: Marathon Adventures on All Seven Continents. Additionally, he has written for publications such as Runner’s World and Computerworld. Reed has been featured in Southern Living, Ebony, the Journal of Accountancy, the Black MBA Magazine, and Runner’s World, among others.

In 2004, Reed, along with Charlotte Simmons-Foster, co-founded the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA), which is the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization that promotes distance running in the Black community. Reed is a charter member of the Black Data Processing Association’s (BDPA) Dallas Chapter and was active in the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Reed has worked as a professional speaker for corporations, educational institutions, and professional organizations and was a member of the National Speakers Association. Reed is a member of Transforming Life Christian Church, where his wife, Deborah, is a minister.

Anthony R. Reed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 28, 2013.

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University of Texas at Arlington

Albilene Christian University

Webster University

Madison Elementary School

Ashland Elementary School

Clark Elementary School

Enright Middle School

John Burroughs School

Texas Christian University

Washington University in St Louis

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St. Louis



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Paris, France

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Hills Build Character.

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Marathoner Anthony Reed (1955 - ) was the first African American to compete in marathons in all seven continents of the world. He also co-founded the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA).


Texas Instruments

Efficient Networks

Motel 6, Accor North America

United Advertising Publications

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board

Ernst & Young

Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory, EG&G

Amberton University

DeVry University

El Centro College

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<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony Reed's interview</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed lists his favorites</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his maternal family's connection to the Windsor plantation</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed describes his mother's upbringing</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed describes his paternal family's move to Dayton, Ohio</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed talks about his father's young adult years and career</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers his uncle Prince Coleman, Jr.</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed talks about his parents' separation</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed lists his siblings</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his brother</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed describes his childhood household</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about his relationship with his brother</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed describes his early education</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about his early influences</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed remembers his childhood interests</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers visiting Washington, D.C. after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed remembers visiting Mississippi as a child</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his early interest in bowling</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed recalls his early interest in music</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed remembers his church activities</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls attending John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers being diagnosed with prediabetes as a child</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about overcoming his speech impediment</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed remembers the impacts of race and class on his experiences at John Burroughs School</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers influential figures from John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed recalls enrolling at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed remembers the death of a friend</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed describes how he managed his prediabetes condition through running</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about his running habits during college</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed remembers influential peers from Washington University in St. Louis</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls attending Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers applying to Texas Christian University for graduate school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed recalls transitioning from Texas Christian University to Abilene Christian University</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed talks about working at Texas Instruments Incorporated in Dallas, Texas</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed recalls studying business at Abilene Christian University</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed remembers a business philosophy course at Abilene Christian University</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed remembers his decision to run in his first marathon</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about influential black marathoners</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes distance runner Ted Corbitt</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about the technological changes in running gear</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers training for his first marathon</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about pacing himself while running</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed describes the phases of distance running</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed talks about his plans to run in the Boston Marathon</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed remembers running marathons in China, Antarctica and Kenya</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed talks about his sponsorship deal with Spira Footwear, Inc.</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed remembers becoming the first African American to run a marathon on each continent</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about his most challenging marathon</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes experimental running procedures</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls competing in a biathlon</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed talks about his running mentors</a>

<a href="">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed recalls forming the National Black Marathoner's Association</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed describes his consulting and professional speaking work</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed talks about his book, 'Running Shoes are Cheaper than Insulin'</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed shares his advice to young runners</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about his children</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="">Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed narrates his photographs</a>







Anthony Reed remembers influential figures from John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri
Anthony Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
Tell us about Bernice [Bernice Curlett]?$$It's when I started at John Burroughs [John Burroughs School, Ladue, Missouri]. Like I said, I had a--had a job working there every day after school cleaning up the--cleaning up the paint room. And Bernice was a lady, a black lady there who worked on the janitorial staff. And so she was the one that was responsible for assigning me my work and looking over the different things that I was doing. And Bernice was what I would call a very strong--a very strong black woman. She basically took me under her wing. And I can remember my--my first year there at Burroughs. Bernice would see me walking down the hall and she would say, "Tony [HistoryMaker Anthony Reed], look up, don't look down at the ground. Don't let these people see you looking down at the ground." I mean she put her foot squarely up my rear end and was really pushing, she was saying, 'cause she knew black history and I knew black history, and it's like, you know, you're representing, you have to do good here. You can't let them see you sweat, you can't let them see you fail. And so Bernice was a person who drove me for four years while I was there. And I think without her being there, I probably would not have graduated from the school. When I left Burroughs she was the only reason that I would go back to the school, to check up on her and to see how she's doing. So she for me was a major inspiration while I was there at Burroughs.$$Now that raises another question too, was there any instructor or administrator or any--any adult at Burroughs that took any interest in you succeeding or recognized talent in you or?$$No. There were some teachers there that I liked, Mrs. Ferber [ph.], Mr. Schmertz [ph.], and ironically they were both English teachers. I think I liked them because of--with them wanting to--to read books. I think they read more books about African Americans and I think they were able to sympathize more with my plight then the other teachers.$$But there's no real relationship?$$Right, but there wasn't any real relationship. In fact, at Burroughs they wrote a book about the athletes there at Burroughs, 'The Athletes Through the Decades' [sic. 'Teammates for Life: A History of Burroughs Athletics, 1923-2011,' Jim Lemen and Jud Calkins] and they talked about the different football teams that they had that, for example, won state in track and all of that. And then they talked about famous athletes who had since graduated from Burroughs and went on to--to doing other great things. And ironically when they wrote the book, they never wrote about my--my achievements as a distance runner. And yet they were aware of me being the first black in the world to run marathons on all seven continents, being one of the few people in the world who has run over 100 marathons, who has won trophies for running marathons. They never wrote anything about it. So to me that said a lot about the school.$$Yeah, well it's not much of a relationship there so, I guess. But, now did you make the National Honor Society yourself?$$No I didn't. It was just--it was a struggle for me to keep up there at the school. I made the national accounting honor society [Beta Alpha Psi] as a graduate student [at the University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas], but again that was years after I left Burroughs.$$Okay, at Burroughs, so at the time of graduation from Burroughs, you had played soccer, you ran some track, you were taking, you know, math courses. What were you, what was your counseling? What did the counselor tell you at Burroughs?$$Not much. They were, I think they were pleasantly surprised that I was still there. I was like--I was in the bottom 10 percent of my class. And so they were just, I think shocked and surprised that I made it there for four years. And like I said, the thing I learned there was just how to fight, just how to stick in there. You know, when other kids were able to go out and you know, have fun, I was going to school full time, working two part time jobs and studying as much as I could in order to try to keep up. I will kind of compare it to being in a 100 yard race and I have to start 125 yards back. So it was just struggling to stay up and catch up. All the students there graduated and went to college. It was like as soon as you set your foot in the door in your freshman year, you know, in high school, everyone there goes to college, it's just a given. So when I graduated from Burroughs, I got accepted to Washington University there in St. Louis [Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri]. And I stayed there for two and a half years before I got kicked out.$Okay so it was a lot of moving too involved. And one question we always ask and just considering all the places you moved in St. Louis [Missouri], just kind of tell us about some of the neighborhoods, and what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Okay. My first recollection of where we lived was when we lived in the Blumeyer projects in St. Louis [Arthur Blumeyer Village].$$That's Blue--$$Blumeyer.$$M-I-R-E?$$I believe it's M-Y--$$M-Y-E-R?$$--I believe it's M-Y-R-E [sic.].$$M-Y-R-E.$$Yes. So there were two major housing projects in St. Louis, there was Pruitt Igoe and there were the Blumeyer projects. And I can remember we had concrete floors in the projects, I think they were about twelve to fifteen stories tall. I can remember there being fires in the trash chutes. I can remember smelling urine in the elevator having to go up to our apartment. It was--it was rough. Then we moved from there to north St. Louis where we lived in a duplex, and I can remember walking to school, which was kind of interesting 'cause a lot of kids today don't walk to school. And it would be snowing outside and they still had school. I can remember at Ashland [Ashland Elementary School, St. Louis, Missouri] when it would be heavy snowfall, we'd still go outside to play and I can remember us building forts and having snowball fights between the forts in the schoolyard. When I returned to St. Louis to run a marathon, unbeknownst to me, the course literally ran by places in St. Louis I used to live. And I remember running by the area where the Blumeyer projects used to be at that time, and they had since torn them down and built low rise government housing there. And I remember running by there and there were some black kids that were sitting on the curb. And they got up and they started running along with me. And I got real emotional 'cause I was thinking, oh my goodness, am I being an example to these kids, kind of being a role model to them, and they're sitting up there thinking, wow, you know, if this black guy can run this marathon, maybe we can run it too. And that actually planted the seed for us organizing the National Black Marathoners' Association, was if we can be out there en masse, we can be role models for black kids to get out of their communities and to start seeing the rest of the world and realize that there was more to life than just, you know, the half square mile that they were growing up in. So for me that was really emotional. Other parts of St. Louis we lived in, it was--it was pleasant being there, and I guess one of the things that I say about growing up not--not having a lot is you never realize how much you don't have. 'Cause everyone around you has the same thing, everyone is experiencing the same things, but it wasn't until I went to high school, went to John Burroughs [John Burroughs School, Ladue, Missouri] that I realized how much more was out there and got an opportunity to see how very wealthy white people lived and how--$$Well, before we get there, I just want to have you just describe like, you know, some more about where you grew up?$$Okay, because we were moving every couple of years, it was really hard to establish friends with people in the neighborhood. It's--I can almost compare it to some people who--who are in the [U.S.] military. You really don't want to get to know people very well because they may be dead. So it was the same thing as we would move into a neighborhood. We really didn't get to know a lot of people that were living around us.