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Edward Lewis

Magazine publisher and entrepreneur Edward Lewis was born on May 15, 1940, in the Bronx, New York. His father was a night shift janitor at City College; his mother a factory worker and beautician. Lewis attended De Witt Clinton High School, where he excelled academically and was a star fullback on the football team. Upon graduating from high school in 1958, he earned a football scholarship to the University of New Mexico. Lewis received his B.A. degree in political science in 1964 and his M.A. degree in political science and international relations in 1966, both from the University of New Mexico. He later graduated from Harvard University’s Small Business Management Program.

Lewis worked first as an administrative analyst for the City Manager’s Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1964 to 1965, and then as a financial analyst at First National City Bank in New York City from 1965 to 1969. In 1969, he co-founded Essence, a magazine specifically targeted to black women, and went on to serve as CEO and publisher of Essence Communications, Inc. for three decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, Lewis expanded Essence Communications to include a weekly television show, fashion line and mail order catalogue, as well as an annual awards show and Essence music festival. In 1992, Lewis acquired Income Opportunities from Davis Publishing; and, in 1995, he co-founded Latina magazine, a bilingual publication geared toward Hispanic women.

In 1997, Lewis became the first African American chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America. In October 2000, Lewis engineered a partnership with Time, Inc. and Essence Communications was sold to Time in 2005. He later joined the private equity firm Solera Capital as a senior adviser and published a memoir, The Man from Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women, in 2014.

Lewis has sat on the boards of TransAfrica, the Rheeland Foundation, New York City Partnership, the Central Park Conservancy, A&P, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Teachers College of Columbia University, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and the Harlem Village Academy; and served as chairman of Latina Media Ventures. He also served on President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors for the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Essence magazine ranked seventh on Advertising Age’s 2003 “A-List,” which was the first time that an African American targeted publication received the honor. Lewis’s personal awards include the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Publishing from Ernst & Young; the President’s Award from One Hundred Black Men of America, Inc.; the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League; the United Negro College Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award; the American Advertising Federation Diversity Achievement Award; the Henry Johnson Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Henry Luce Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2014.

Edward Lewis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.224

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2014

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

DeWitt Clinton High School

University of New Mexico

Georgetown University Law Center

P.S. 35 Stephen Decatur School

P.S. 2 Morrisania School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Edward

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

LEW20

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bali, Indonesia

Favorite Quote

No Doubt About It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/15/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potato

Short Description

Magazine publishing chief executive and entrepreneur Edward Lewis (1940 - ) cofounded Essence Communications, Inc., where he served as the CEO and publisher of Essence magazine.

Employment

Solera Capital

Essence Communications, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:8058,82:9180,93:9588,98:10914,116:15708,214:16422,222:29136,416:29815,424:44994,705:95065,1324:96374,1344:98068,1377:102457,1444:107924,1526:158530,2181$0,0:300,3:700,8:12287,123:12691,128:18246,201:18953,209:19357,214:22412,250:34602,501:34894,506:60475,890:87458,1301:100991,1466:100481,1477:101017,1494:101553,1503:102022,1513:107918,1629:127357,1951:150944,2279:161648,2458:162043,2464:167336,2578:168363,2603:168916,2612:169627,2623:169943,2628:180990,2778:182270,2796:182830,2804:216717,3199:220480,3273:221502,3282:234955,3464:235175,3469:235670,3480:238640,3515:239207,3524:250164,3684:250822,3693:251950,3708:257496,3789:263341,3861:263852,3869:266283,3883:268303,3912:269010,3920:269717,3933:274460,3988:279860,4067:282470,4075
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edward Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about his experiences as an only child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis talks about his maternal family members

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis describes his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis talks about his maternal family's decision to move north

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Edward Lewis remembers his maternal aunt, Matilene Spencer Berryman

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Edward Lewis describes his earliest childhood memories

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

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis remembers his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis describes the racial dynamics of the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers his education in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis describes his upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about his mother's second marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis remembers caring for his paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis remembers visiting his maternal family in Farmville, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis describes his neighborhood in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis remembers DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis recalls his recruitment to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis talks about adjusting to the University of New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis remembers losing his college athletic scholarship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis recalls his coursework in Russian history

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes his student activism

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis remembers his admission to Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis talks about the careers of his football teammates at the University of New Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis talks about President Richard Nixon

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis recalls losing his scholarship to Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis remembers his experiences at First National City Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers the formation of The Hollingsworth Group, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis remembers the formation of The Hollingsworth Group, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis describes the initial structure of The Hollingsworth Group

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis remembers the first issue of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis talks about the founding of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis describes the early advertising in Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis recalls the overhead costs at Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers his mentors in the publishing industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about the success of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about the early editors in chief of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis remembers his former business partners' lawsuit

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis describes Essence's relationship with Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis remembers Marcia Ann Gillespie

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis recalls promoting Susan Taylor as the editor in chief of Essence magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis talks about the magazine industry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis describes the growth of Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers creating the Essence Music Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about the success of the Essence Music Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about Black Enterprise magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes the advertising challenges at Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis remembers his business relationship with John H. Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis talks about Camille Cosby's board membership at Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis describes the negotiations between Essence Communications, Inc. and Time Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis describes his departure from Essence Communications, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis talks about the future of Essence magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis describes his departure from Essence Communications, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about the title of his book, 'The Man from Essence'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Edward Lewis reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Edward Lewis talks about his second marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Edward Lewis describes his aspiration to become a blues singer

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Edward Lewis recalls his coursework in Russian history
Edward Lewis remembers creating the Essence Music Festival
Transcript
Well, you also took up Russian studies and?$$I was very--my curiosity in terms of reading, I read some of the great Russian novelists: Tolstoy [Leo Tolstoy], Dostoyevsky [Fyodor Dostoyevsky]; and I decided to take Russian history. And--I had already taken Russian civilization--that's required when you, in your first years at the university [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico]. But my interest in Russian history, the professor there was a man named Henry Tobias [Henry J. Tobias]. Henry was a graduate, from Paterson, New Jersey, went to Ohio; got his Ph.D. in Stanford [Stanford University, Stanford, California]. But he taught Russian history, and I took this course. And just--I just ate it up. And I did not know that Professor Tobias was interested in me; and I was on my way--I had gone to the student administration building. I was on my way to the student union to get some coffee, he was coming out, the professor, and he said, "Ed [HistoryMaker Edward Lewis], are you going to have some coffee?" And I said yes. He said, "Do you mind if I sit with you?" I said, "By all means, please." And we sat and he proceeded to--he and I proceeded, to talk for the next three and a half hours. I had never had anyone do that with me. And so as a result of that, this man just opened my head up intellectually; and then I took Russian history. He also taught Chinese history, so I took Chinese history. And so my background in terms of--I was a political science major, but I had an interest in international affairs--particularly, Russian and Chinese history. And so in my travels, I've gone to the Far East, I'm going to China, I've not been to Russia yet but I hope to go to Moscow [Russia] and St. Petersburg [Russia] at some point. But I have a, just a familiarity of Russia, in particularly how serfs, serfdom was portrayed, and how these Russians had to overcome that; and I compare that to how we as blacks had to live in a society in terms of how we had to overcome, too. So I just sort found some familiarity in things of--and when I looked at what happened to the people who were really slaves too and looked at what is happening to us.$So talk about how that came, came about 'cause--?$$That came about because--1994, I was having drinks with a legend in the jazz world, impresario, a man by the name of George Wein. He--George started Newport Jazz Festival, he has a New Orleans jazz festival [New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival]. And he and I were having drinks, and I was telling him about my upcoming, upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary of Essence [Essence Communications, Inc.]. And I'd like--and I, I said, "I'm gonna do the same thing, big party in New York [New York], thank all the advertisers and thank everyone," I said, "I'd like to do something a little bit different." He said to me, "Have you ever thought about doing a music festival in New Orleans [Louisiana] at the Superdome [Louisiana Superdome; Mercedes-Benz Superdome] over the 4th of July weekend?" I looked at him, "No, I had not thought about that." But there was a germ of a, of a, a synergistic opportunity. New Orleans, music, magazine--maybe there's something there. So I suggested he come to my office, make a presentation. He did to Clarence [Clarence Smith], Susan [HistoryMaker Susan Taylor] and my chief financial officer [Harry Dedyo]. Everyone was lukewarm. I listened and thought about it and decided to come to do it and he and I were partners. We were equal partners, 50/50 partners, and that's how we came together in 1995. Lo and behold we had about--roughly, about 100--between 100 and 145,000 people who came. And I can remember giving my speech to fifty thousand people at the Superdome, thanking everyone from the bottom of my heart. I was humble that people would come out and, and be supportive of Essence over its twenty-five years of being in business; and that's how it happened. And the very next year, however, I was about to pull the plug because the, the governor, the new governor of the State of Louisiana, Robert Foster [sic. Mike Foster], made the decision to eliminate all affirmative action programs for the State of Louisiana. I'm a big proponent of affirmative action; and, and, and the way we promoted the festival [Essence Music Festival] was through the magazine, and so word of mouth had gotten out that we may not be doing this, and as you can well imagine, that precipitated a reaction. Marc Morial [HistoryMaker Marc H. Morial], who is now leader of the Urban League [National Urban League] was mayor of, of, of New Orleans. I was--as I said, I was not going back, but then the lieutenant governor of Louisiana, Blanco [Kathleen Blanco], who ultimately became the governor called me and asked if I would be willing to meet with the governor of Louisiana and tell you a story. And I was open to that. And I was--and I also knew that the Urban League was going to hold its convention in New Orleans several weeks later. So I called Hugh, [HistoryMaker] Hugh Price, and told him what I was thinking: "Why don't you hold off doing the, doing the Urban League and you and I go together to Louisiana, Baton Rouge." We went and I explained to the governor why affirmative action is so important to me. I said there's one of our great entertainers, it was a man by the name of James Brown, he had some lyrics, one of his songs ['I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing'], open the door. And all I asked, in terms of how I define affirmative action, is to open the door. Once the door's open, you don't need to give me anything. I can compete with anybody, but what happens is that we don't even get a chance to open the door. And so if you don't open the door, I'm gonna fight you tooth and nail. And he listened, got him to modify his affirmative action edict enough for me to make the decision to go back in 1996. By the time I had decided to go back, word had gotten out that we were not coming back, we're not able to get the sponsors; I lost over a million dollars. And George Wein, who had been my partner decided that this was too onerous and so that's when I made another decision that Essence would do this on its own; and, and so the rest is really history.

Gordon J. Davis

Lawyer and civic leader Gordon J. Davis was born on August 7, 1941, in Chicago, Illinois to William Allison Davis and Elizabeth Stubbs Davis. Davis grew up near a predominantly African American neighborhood, where he gained a passion for jazz and the arts. He graduated from Williams College in 1963 with his B.A. degree, and then from Harvard Law School in 1967 with his J.D. degree.

Upon graduation, Davis moved to New York City and worked as special assistant to Mayor John Lindsay. He served on the New York City Planning Commission from 1973 until 1978, when he was appointed New York City’s first African American commissioner of Parks and Recreation. During his service as commissioner, Davis was instrumental in the founding of the Central Park Conservancy. In 1983, Davis resigned as commissioner of Parks and Recreation and joined the law firm of Lord, Day & Lord. He began serving as counsel to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts that same year. In 1990, he became the founding chairman of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Davis was named partner at the law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae in 1994, but left in 2001 when he was voted the first African American president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Davis held this position for nine months before returning to LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae as a senior partner. In 2002, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the organization overseeing the redevelopment of the Ground Zero site, became his client. Davis was named partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2007, after a merger joined LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae and Dewey Ballantine. In 2012, he moved to Venable, LLP as a partner. Davis’ clients have included the New York Public Library, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the United States Tennis Association, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Davis has served on the board of directors of the Municipal Art Society of New York as well as other civic and arts organizations in New York City. In 2001, he was honored by 100 Black Men for his public service, and was named one of “America’s Top Black Lawyers” by Black Enterprise magazine the following year. He was appointed to a six-year term on the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts by President Barack Obama in 2010.

Davis lives in New York City with his wife, and has one daughter.

Gordon J. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 17, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.205

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/17/2014 |and| 7/13/2016

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Jamison

Occupation
Schools

Francis W. Parker High School

Hyde Park Academy High School

Williams College

Columbia University

Harvard Law School

First Name

Gordon

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DAV34

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oak Bluffs

Favorite Quote

Black People Are Just As Good As White People, Actually, They're A Little Better.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/7/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Watermelon

Short Description

Lawyer and civic leader Gordon J. Davis (1941 - ) a partner with the law firm of Venable, LLP, was the first African American commissioner of Parks and Recreation for the City of New York, as well as first African American president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Employment

Venable LLP

LeBoeuf Lamb / Dewey LeBoeuf

Lincoln Center Inc.

Lord Day & Lord

New York City Parks Department

New York City Planning Commission

Mayor's Office, New York City

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1288,15:1806,24:2916,45:6912,132:10686,239:12314,272:13498,293:20262,369:20572,375:21626,420:27140,540:28115,556:33656,648:34248,657:38614,792:38910,797:48402,966:49662,1013:53880,1076:58205,1130:60905,1180:63455,1224:64430,1238:64805,1244:65180,1250:70454,1329:73283,1414:78803,1615:88835,1732:89285,1739:89585,1744:92360,1800:93485,1828:94010,1836:94610,1846:100083,1919:101784,1961:102270,1968:111144,2089:111765,2099:113076,2130:115422,2178:115905,2185:119807,2229:123610,2242:125164,2277:130788,2422:139040,2563:139365,2569:145104,2615:146058,2629:148230,2653:148580,2659:151213,2682:152032,2692:159130,2903:163490,2919:163746,2924:165218,2964:165538,2970:165794,2977:176439,3133:182470,3221:182830,3226:195522,3404:198482,3494:210415,3677:212790,3683:213342,3693:214584,3719:215343,3739:218580,3798:219644,3821:222802,3875:223390,3883:234100,4034:240192,4112:249830,4335:254226,4400:255632,4420:259098,4475:260781,4507:261474,4515:262068,4522:266030,4589:266360,4595:268472,4642:270056,4696:270452,4704:273635,4718:274160,4727:274610,4736:281245,4830:281561,4835:282114,4846:282509,4852:286064,4975:286459,4981:290409,5087:295900,5147$0,0:3089,5:7480,73:23040,304:23324,309:24531,340:25383,363:29510,437:31990,488:37866,590:41067,619:42033,639:46794,741:70298,1255:71066,1277:71642,1287:72282,1299:78800,1381:81660,1392:82024,1397:85692,1431:87279,1472:88521,1498:89280,1516:89556,1521:91971,1578:100060,1659:101320,1685:109230,1798:111130,1817:113530,1865:113930,1870:117570,1901:127011,2026:131709,2043:132147,2050:133680,2073:135724,2112:144452,2229:146990,2250:150332,2371:156976,2447:167280,2619:167883,2638:171099,2716:186929,2905:197512,3060:197897,3066:198821,3086:199668,3099:202971,3116:204258,3129:215820,3291:220788,3433:221064,3438:231191,3690:239524,3766:239980,3773:248578,3909:250624,3975:253229,4020:253667,4027:256222,4108:262296,4173:271589,4321:276346,4422:279380,4473:280610,4492:288278,4623:288658,4629:292914,4751:295270,4788:295650,4794:296030,4800:302204,4846:302714,4852:303836,4877:307260,4926:309560,4953:310960,4983:319706,5152:321704,5191:322962,5222:337016,5486:337396,5492:339588,5538:352230,5663
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Gordon J. Davis narrates his photographs, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gordon J. Davis narrates his photographs, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gordon J. Davis narrates his photographs, pt.3

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of Gordon J. Davis' interview

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gordon J. Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his mother's family history

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gordon J. Davis recalls the untimely death of his maternal uncle, Frederick Douglass Stubbs

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his mother's education and his parents' marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gordon J. Davis compares his experience at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts to his father's

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gordon J. Davis recounts his confrontation with the dean of freshman at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gordon J. Davis describes his childhood neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gordon J. Davis details his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his paternal grandfather's civil service career being derailed by President Woodrow Wilson's racist policies

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gordon J. Davis cites publications that include his paternal family history

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his father's time and legacy at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his paternal family's educational achievements

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Gordon J. Davis explains his father's bitterness toward Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Gordon J. Davis describes his father's experiences at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and his Natchez research

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his father's second marriage to Lois Mason and how the two met at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Gordon J. Davis describes his father's friendship with the author Sterling Brown

Tape: 2 Story: 18 - Gordon J. Davis describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 19 - Gordon J. Davis describes his father's success as an academic innovator and mentor

Tape: 2 Story: 20 - Gordon J. Davis explains the significance of the Rosenwald Foundation

Tape: 2 Story: 21 - Gordon J. Davis describes his mother's later years

Tape: 2 Story: 22 - Gordon J. Davis describes his earliest childhood memories and his experience at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his older brother

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gordon J. Davis recalls perceptions of race and class while growing up in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his family's sense of racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gordon J. Davis talks about his family's sense of racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gordon J. Davis describes the use of humor in diffusing racially charged situations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gordon J. Davis remembers his time at the University of Chicago Laboratory School in Chicago, Illinois and in Jack and Jill

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gordon J. Davis explains his academic goals and choosing to attend Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gordon J. Davis describes his family lineage and racial identity

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gordon J. Davis reminisces about his classmates at Francis Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois and his mother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gordon J. Davis describes his father's and uncle's careers academic careers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gordon J. Davis describes his summers at Idlewild, Michigan and his experience at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gordon J. Davis remembers joining civil rights protests during his freshman year at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gordon J. Davis recalls the social atmosphere during his time at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gordon J. Davis talks about the movement to abolish fraternities at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Gordon J. Davis talks about his family's sense of racial identity, pt. 1
Gordon J. Davis talks about the movement to abolish fraternities at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts
Transcript
Now, about the issue of color, can I ask you that, like you know, you talk about Allison [S. Davis] being, I mean, you know, he was confused. Well he was (simultaneous)--$$He wasn't confused. He just didn't understand the meaning of the word.$$Okay (laughter).$$We were never confused about race.$$And why (simultaneous)$$That maybe a bit apocryphal, but generally I don't ever remember him being confused about race, because of what our parents [Elizabeth Stubbs Davis and W. Allison Davis] taught us. They taught us, even to this day, sometimes white people almost say, "Well you could have passed for white, why didn't you?" As if it were a rational question. And I look at them and say, "Why would I want to be white?" (Laughter) Even if I had a choice, why would I want to be, and that always stuns them, because they never could imagine that being the answer. They can only imagine it would be much better to be white than.... And of course, that day, most days there were all kinds of black people disappearing, who'd passed, and so forth. But my parents were social scientists. My father spent his life studying race in this country, and education, and race and education, caste and stuff. So there was a consciousness about these issues in the house, not that we were going around thinking, but they--and the issue being anything other than colored people was never an issue. Even though--you know, and it wasn't an issue not only with us, it wasn't an issue with my father's brother [John A. Davis] and sister [Dorothy Davis]. It wasn't an issue in my mother's family (unclear) light-skinned people, all of us, although my father was darker.$$Yes, people talk (simultaneous)--$$He was darker.$$That's right. People talk about that. That he was darker.$$So that, so the whole growing up is littered with stories about how funny race can be. That Allison saying the teacher's white when she was black. We went to Hawaii (laughter). My father went to Hawaii (laughter) we went to Hawaii in 1947. My father was going to teach at the University of Hawaii. And his principal reason for going, however, was Hawaii was supposed to be the only place in the United States and its dominion, where there was no color line. Coming off the boat, you knew that wasn't true. It didn't take any research. You knew the minute you got to Hawaii there were color lines all over the place. I mean, there were white people, Hawaiians, Japanese, they're all, you know. But it didn't take any study to feel, to realize there was a color.... There's a great picture in the Hawaii Gazette [sic.], 1947, a picture of my father clearly black, a black person, "Distinguished Professor Comes to Hawaii From the University of Chicago to Study," blah, blah, blah. Well, that was, you know, we were a big deal. But there wasn't any need to study because we knew right away there was a color line. Although it was very diverse and the friends my parents had, there were a couple, she was very black, he was white, and the only place they could live a decent life was Hawaii in 1947. So they lived in Hawaii. Actually she, the woman, was she the grandmother of [HistoryMaker] Lani Guinier?$$Oh, I (simultaneous)--$$Lani Guinier's first name comes from the name of the woman who was--in any event, there's a picture of me--we lived in the Moana Hotel [Moana Surfrider, Honolulu, Hawaii]. There's a picture of me when my last day of class in whatever grade I was in, kindergarten, and the kids all gave me a lei with little good-bye notes on it. And you look at my class, there're very white kids there, all these Asian kids, it was very diverse. On the boat on the way over, which was only one class, it wasn't first class, it was only one class, we were in a boat on the way over. And we were a curious group. People would look at us and couldn't quite figure out what we were. A train, even the Pullman porters couldn't quite figure it out. (Sound). So we're on this boat for five days going to Hawaii and it's a woman from the South, she'd sort of been buzzing around and one time--you go up and down on an elevator, so we're in an elevator and my sister, my brother [Allison S. Davis] and myself going up and down the elevator. She finally had her chance. She said, "What are you all?" This is one of these stories from Urbana [ph.]. My brother said something like, "What do you mean?" "Well, what nationality are you all?" My brother said, "We all is Indians." (Laughter). This is another family story. Did he say that? I think, oh that's the story we told for sixty years, that he actually.... The woman was for real. I mean she definitely was trying to figure out what we were. So the issue of race, of color, it wasn't for a long time--the only people didn't know we were, couldn't figure out we were black were white people, because in Chicago [Illinois] everybody knew everybody on Langley [Avenue] everybody knew. I mean every once in a while some kids would wonder into our area of Langley and not know, and start to beat us up and we'd run to the school yard and say, "Tell them, tell them we're"--you know.$So I said about the guys freshman year, walking into the freshmen dining room to say come picket the White House [Washington, D.C.] and got booed and they didn't bounce, they didn't, you couldn't deter them at all. As an example of leadership I hadn't seen before. So at the end of our sophomore year, some guys who were in the so-called best fraternity in the campus, an incident occurred involving an Asian student that they thought should be a member, but the rest of the fraternity members booed down and wouldn't even consider him because he was Asian, even though he was eating his meals there every day. They walked out and they called a meeting in the physics lab to discuss the future, what should be done about fraternities and their effect on Williams [College, Williamstown, Massachusetts]. It ended up as something called the Grinnell Petition, named after the guy [Bruce Grinnell] who was the captain of the football team and lead the--and ninety of us signed the petition saying Williams should get rid of fraternities, the spring of our sophomore year. People had been saying things about fraternities at Williams for fifty years. My father [W. Allison Davis] said, "Don't go to Williams because of the fraternities." (Sound). But this was a little bit different because the people signing the petition were more centrists than the wacky non-affiliates and beatniks. That summer the president of Williams, James Phinney Baxter [III], who had been president for twenty-five years, it was his last year, he resigned, and the new president was a guy named John [Edward] Sawyer, a Yale [University, New Haven, Connecticut] economist. He began my junior year. He invited some of us "campus leaders" to come to dinner at his house--the president's house, and he and his little white wife and his little, tight-ass white self couldn't have been more boring, less interesting, less anything, I mean, we came away saying "Oh God, nothing is ever going to change." A week later, he eliminated the compulsory chapel. And the summer between our junior and senior year the board voted to abolish fraternities, immediately, no all-deliberate speed, no nothing. They said we're going to get rid of fraternities as fast as we can. The campus was in a state of shock. We were, the ninety of us, were in a state of shock. So within (simultaneous)--$$There were ninety of you?$$Only ninety had signed this petition (simultaneous)--$$Only nine (simultaneous)?$$--of the thousands of students, ninety, nine-o. And here this new president got the board to abolish it. Well, clearly he came with that as an agenda. It wasn't just us. He knew that was on his agenda, because he knew that Williams would never be a better institution until fraternities were gone, we could go co-ed without fraternities because fraternities meant you couldn't go coed. They housed--80 percent of the students were housed in fraternities, all men. Fraternities were a deterrent for anybody of color to go there. So, we were stunned. And outside of Williams, the Civil Rights Movement was reaching its crescendo. So I graduated in June of 1963 and a week before the graduation a bunch of guys who were my friends who had just come back from Birmingham [Alabama], they had been down there--the campus was all up in a civil rights thing, everybody was reading [James] Baldwin's '[The] Fire Next Time' and signing up to get on buses, the same place where they were, everybody was booed when they raised it four years before; the whole campus was swept up in the civil rights--had students visiting. SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther] King [Jr.] spoke there. So this was the profound part of Williams. One, there's a personal change going on. It's a totally different experience than my father's [W. Allison Davis] experience obviously. But the world is changing and then Williams is changing, so it was sort of this triple layer of things going on. So the Williams experience became very indelible for me and for my group of friends, who are still very close. We still email all the time. We still talk all the time. It was a very indelible experience because all these things were happening happened at the same time. And all the guys who were totally, I mean, the outcry from the alumni about the fraternity issue, it did not--these WASPs [White Anglo Saxon Protestants], from this WASP, this boring WASP president and his boring WASP board, chairman of the board, who was a guy from--a Brahmin from Boston [Massachusetts], they didn't give a shit. And sure enough within three years the fraternities were gone, I mean gone. They had taken over the houses, they had kicked out all the fraternities, they were gone. I said, "Damn," and three years later it went coed, or four years later. And every step of the way--and the number of diverse students increased, increased, increased, increased. And every step of the way, it got better. All these guys were saying, oh it's going to be terrible, it's going to be (unclear). It became better academically. It became better socially. It's now the number one liberal arts college in the country, has been the last ten years and all this stuff. And it all began with this guy, Jack Sawyer, who nobody thought would change anything, and he just fooled the shit out of everybody. And he eventually became head of the Carnegie Foundation [sic. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation] and he was quite something. So, that in not quite a nutshell, that is why Williams was very profoundly important to me and my--changed me, affected me, whatever the right words are.$$So--

Charles Phillips, Jr.

Corporate executive Charles E. Phillips, Jr. was born in June of 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he received his B.S. degree in computer science in 1981. Phillips served first as a second lieutenant, and then as captain in the United States Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines from 1981 to 1986 at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He received his M.B.A degree from Hampton University in 1986 and his J.D. degree from the New York Law School in 1993.

In 1986, Phillips was named vice president of software for the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. He worked as senior vice president of SoundView Technology Group from 1990 to 1993, and senior vice president of Kidder Peabody from 1990 to 1994. Phillips then landed a job as a principal with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Institutional Securities Division in 1994, and was promoted to managing director in 1995. Then, in 2003, Phillips was hired by Oracle Corporation in Redwood Shores, California, as executive vice president of strategy, partnerships, and business development. He was appointed president and a member of the board of directors of Oracle in 2004, where he remained until 2010. In 2010, Phillips was named chief executive officer of Infor, an ERP software provider headquartered in New York City.

He serves on the boards of Infor, Viacom Corporation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Law School, the American Museum of Natural History, the United States Air Force Academy Endowment Fund, and Posse Foundation. Phillips is also a board member of his family foundation, Phillips Charitable Organizations, which provides financial aid for single parents, students interested in engineering, and wounded veterans. In February 2009, he was appointed as a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board in order to provide U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration with advice and counsel in addressing the late-2000s recession.

Phillips was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine as the Number One Enterprise Software Industry Analyst from 1994 to 2003. He was also named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street in 2002.

Charles Phillips was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/11/2014

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Schools

United States Air Force Academy

Hampton University

New York Law School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

PHI07

Favorite Season

Late Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Madrid, Spain

Favorite Quote

Semper Fi

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/10/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Paella

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Charles Phillips, Jr. (1959 - ) is the CEO of Infor. He also served as president of Oracle from 2004 to 2010, and is a founder and board member of Phillips Charitable Organizations.

Employment

United States Marine Corps

Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

SoundView Technology Group

Kidder Peabody

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

Oracle Corporation

Infor

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Phillips, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood experience with the U.S. Air Force and enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his mother's family background and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory and his experience living in Madrid, Spain

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American schools abroad and his father's interest in current events

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American school in Madrid, Spain and Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia and playing basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his parents and brothers in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to enroll at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. recalls his nomination by Nelson Rockefeller to attend the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the student body population at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the challenges of increasing African American attendance at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the pressure of attending the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to serve his commission in the United States Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about meeting his wife, Karen Phillips

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his experience in the United States Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes leaving the United States Marine Corps to attend an M.B.A. program at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working in investment banking with a background in technology rather than in finance

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the progression of his career on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his success as a software analyst on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes technology analysts on Wall Street during the late 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working with Mary Meeker and Frank Quattrone at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about becoming a managing director in Morgan Stanley's technology group in 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the leading people and companies in the software industry during his time as an analyst

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his investment strategy during the dot-com bubble

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the development of technology in the United States and abroad in the early 2000s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Stanford's University's role in Silicon Valley

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about technological innovation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Morgan Stanley's merger with Dean Witter Reynolds in 1997

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about leaving Morgan Stanley to work at Oracle Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his goals at Oracle Corporation and the difference between enterprise software and personal software

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the history and security of cloud computing

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes becoming the CEO of Infor in 2010

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the importance of design and ease of use in Infor's software

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about moving Infor to New York City, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the growth of Infor since he became CEO

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Infor's acquisition of Lawson Software in 2011

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the percentage of cloud business at Infor

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the use of open source databases and operating systems at Infor

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the future of big data and automation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects on his career path

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the Phillips Charitable Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the legacy of the post-Civil Rights generation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force
Transcript
So this is your late twenties too, though.$$Yeah.$$You're still young. How do you end up with the Bank of New York Mellon [Corporation]? I mean, is that your first--$$That was my first job. I didn't know anybody in New York [New York City, New York]. Then, my mother-in-law was living in New York. My wife's [Karen Phillips] family is from the New York area. She said you just need to start applying and see what you can do. So all I did was start writing a bunch of different financial institutions like "I just got out of the Marines, I'd like to come live in New York, I don't have any financial experience but I'm a quick learner. I've learned engineering" and, to my view, it's harder than finance. I think I sent out 200 letters. I got like 190 rejections 'cause people didn't value the military experience at that time and the whole engineering, it just-- especially in New York without any military bases here, they hadn't been around it. It has changed some now, we respect it now. But back then--remember this is--remember this is '80s [1980] when--. People would tell me "You seem like you're so smart, so why would you go to the military if you're that smart?" I said, "Well, you can be smart--it's not oxymoron, people do things for other than money sometimes because they have a commitment," so I had to explain that. And so, it was looking pretty bleak actually and then the Bank of New York, I wrote the guy and said, "Will you meet with me?" He said, "Yes, let me know the next time you're in town." I came to town and had trouble pinning him down, but I finally badgered him into a meeting. I realized as soon as I walked into his office, I waited all day to see him. He had a name plaque on his desk with an eagle, globe, and anchor-- had his last name with an eagle, globe, and anchor next to it, which was the Marine Corp emblem, so I knew his dad was a Marine and that's why he met with me. Once I saw that, I was, "Okay, I know why I'm here. I know I'm going to get this job now," so we start talking and within twenty minutes, we're laughing and talking about everything. He said, "All right, I'll give you a shot." And I said, "That's all I'm asking for a shot, and let me get started, and if I fail, fire me in six months. You'll never hear from me again. I'll work for whatever you think it is. I didn't know what it was worth. You tell me. I'll work for anything. I just want a shot." And he gave it to me. And--$$And you were hired to do what, Charles?$$So he hired me into--they had a mini training program, so I went around to different departments and that lasted about six months. I worked in the credit department, analyzing financial statements, and then he assigned me in the research department for analyzing stocks because I like analyzing things. So I said, "I can do that. I'll figure that out." So I got there. And they weren't sure what to do with me. So I said, "The thing I know about is computers, why don't you let me follow computer stocks and I can tell you a lot about that?" But I didn't know about the stock market. I go, "I don't, but I know the products work and I know why people buy them. I know if they're good or not." That, what seemed to be important because everybody else was an accountant or had some finance thing they were really good at. I said, "Yeah, I'll get to learning the stock market," but none of them could tell you what the products--if the products--that's what I know. And that was the unique thing I had, so they said, "Okay, do that." And the computer industry stock market was just starting. That's when Microsoft [Corporation] was just becoming public. Oracle [Corporation] had just became public, so it was a little side industry, especially the area I specialized in, which was the enterprise area, the more complex software. There were very few people even paying--they were scared of those stocks because they didn't understand them, and they were small companies. No one paid attention to them, so I said, "I'm just going to do that, and I will explain the reason these companies exist, how it's gonna change, I think it's going to be a big industry. Computers are going to be more prevalent. I already knew all that from the last seven years working with the stuff that it was growing in importance, but I didn't how long it would take. But I knew it was going to be big at some point. And a lot of the ways they used to do things on the old, giant computers with the cards and all that stuff--all these new computers because I've been building them, are going to be more powerful and more efficient way to do it, and this is going to get big. And here are the software companies that are going to help automate that, and I'll just do that, and explain to people why that's going to happen, and the shift from mainframes to PCs [personal computers] and all that." And they said, "We don't understand a thing you're saying, but it sounds like you know what you're talking about, so go ahead and do that." So I started basically visiting those companies, writing reports about them, and explaining to investors why they should invest, and then eventually made it to the investment banking firm and started doing the mergers and acquisitions, and seeing how the industry worked. I knew everybody in the industry because that is all I was doing (unclear).$$Now you were at what investment bank firm?$$So I ended up at Kidder, Peabody [& Co.]--(simultaneous)--$$Kidder, Peabody--(simultaneous)--$$--and then to Morgan Stanley.$What, what rank does your father [Charles Phillips, Sr.] have, you know, what rank is he--?$$(simultaneous) He retired a Senior master sergeant [in the U.S. Air Force], which is, for the enlisted, the second highest you can go, so he did pretty well, but he was enlisted though, yeah.$$And so is he--do you ever hear discussions about him being frustrated at all, or, you know, is he of the generation that the service really opened up, you know, a lot of opportunities?$$He is grateful for the opportunity to serve his country and it gave him tremendous opportunities. So, there-- He told me a story that four years into the service, you have to decide whether you want to re-up, or reenlist, and continue; and he came home in his uniform, had some time off for a week. And one of the guys he went to high school with tried to talk him out of reenlisting and said, "Come back here to Clinton, Oklahoma," which really it's only 5,000 people, "and we'll open up a liquor store." And he said, "I thought about it, and I almost did it," and then said, "You know what, there's just gotta be better something. I haven't seen in four years, but there's--but I've seen enough to say, there's other ways of thinking and I want to learn more, and I decided against. I went and re-uped and went back and left." So he goes back, 10 or 15 years later, the guy actually did open a liquor store and, of course, is destitute, barely surviving, like a shack about to fall over, and selling liquor. He said, "You see, that would have been me if I had made that decision and said, "No, I just don't want to make that decision, no I don't want to do that, even though he was one of my best friends, I would have been stuck there for the rest of my life, you know." And so he views that, the fact that he got out through the military as a huge--so do I. I was so glad did. It changed his life. Nonetheless, the fact that that was his only choice is a function of many other things that he obviously not happy about. So it was just this dual feeling. On the one hand, I 'm grateful for this opportunity, and I want to serve my country because they gave me this opportunity; on the other hand, I should have had more opportunity like everybody else did and didn't like the way he was being treated, so--$$So this-- some of this you're hearing around the dinner table and at home.$$Yeah, this conflict and anger, and yet the appreciation of being part of the country, and yet "My country should have treated me better," all those things, you know. All those things were discussed and, you know, I'd tried to understand in a way because we grew up in an environment that I had never seen before and I tried to place myself there and see if I would be as angry, you know.$$So you're hearing a lot about, you know, this person, you know, I didn't get treated right, you know. And then the Marines are--they were still --the Marines were a hard place--you know, we had--well the Montford Point Marines [Montford Point Marine Association]. I think Navy was worse. Navy was worse as a branch of service.$$(simultaneous) Yeah.