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Danny Bakewell, Sr.

Broadcast Entrepreneur Danny Bakewell, Sr. was born in 1946 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Also raised in New Orleans, he graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1965, and went on to attend the University of Arizona.

At the age of twenty-one, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he was hired as a community organizer with the Neighborhood Adult Participation Project. During this time, he also worked as the director of new careers at the University of California, Los Angeles before becoming involved with the Black Congress. In the early 1970s, Bakewell was named president and chief executive officer of the Brotherhood Crusade, a Los Angeles-based civil rights and community development organization, where he served until 2006. During his long tenure, he raised over $60 million for community initiatives. He also co-founded the National Black United Fund in 1974.

In 1982, Bakewell became chairman and chief executive officer of The Bakewell Company, one of the largest African American-owned development companies in the United States. In 1986, Bakewell was named president of the Cranston Securities Company, a national investment banking firm. Then, in 2004, he purchased the Los Angeles Sentinel, the oldest and largest African American newspaper on the West Coast. Soon after, in 2007, Bakewell purchased the New Orleans radio station WBOK and in 2009, he was elected chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Bakewell also established the Brotherhood Crusade Business Development and Capital Fund, the African American Unity Center, and the Taste of Soul of Los Angeles. In memory of his daughter, Sabriya, who lost her life to leukemia, Bakewell founded the SABRIYA’s Castle of Fun Foundation for hospitalized children. The Foundation has established over 200 units in hospitals around the country.

Bakewell’s numerous awards include the Trumpet Award from the Trumpet Foundation, the JFK Profiles in Courage Award by the Democratic Party, the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus Adam Clayton Powell Award, the Roy Wilkins Award, and the Martin Luther King Drum Major Award, among others. He has also been honored by the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. In addition, the Los Angeles Unified School District honored Bakewell by naming a school after him.

Bakewell lives in California with his wife, Alina. He has two children: Danny, Jr. and Brandi.

Danny Bakewell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 29, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.169

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/30/2014

11/10/2014

Last Name

Bakewell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Joseph

Schools

St. Augustine High School

University of Arizona School of Law

First Name

Danny

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BAK07

State

Louisiana

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/17/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Short Description

Broadcast entrepreneur Danny Bakewell, Sr. (1946 - ) was the founder and owner of The Bakewell Company, which included among its holdings the New Orleans radio station WBOK and the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper. He was also president and chief executive officer of the Brotherhood Crusade for over thirty years.

Employment

Neighborhood Adult Participation Project

University of California, Los Angeles

The Brotherhood Crusade

The National Black United Fund

The Bakewell Company

Cranston Securities Company

The Los Angeles Sentinel

WBOK Radio Station