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Demetrius Carney

Corporate lawyer and Chicago police board president Demetrius Edward Carney was born on April 29, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to James and Jessie Carney. Carney attended Chicago’s Holy Angels Catholic School and Joachim Junior High School. He went on to graduate in 1969 from De La Salle High School. Afterwards, Carney attended Loyola University where he initially pursued a degree in mathematics, but decided to change his major to psychology.

Carney graduated from Loyola University in 1972 and went on to work as a teacher at Chicago’s St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School. While working as a teacher, Carney was encouraged by a colleague to pursue a law degree. He then enrolled at DePaul University and graduated with his J.D. degree in 1974.

Also in 1974, Carney joined the law firm of Butler, Todd & Tucker. He left the firm in 1977 and partnered with Jerome Butler and formed the private practice of Butler & Carney. Then in 1978, he was hired by Lafontant, Wilkins & Butler and represented several organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Carney went on to form Carney & Brothers in 1985. He worked there until 1995 when he began working at the law firm of Wildman, Harold, Allen & Dixon, focusing his practice in the areas of real estate development. In 2003, Carney joined the Seattle based-firm, Perkins Coie, where he began specializing in the areas of government relations and lobbying issues.

Carney became the chairman of the Chicago police board. His other affiliations include the Cook County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association. He serves on the board of trustees at St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School and on the board of directors at the Chicago Culture Center Foundation. Carney is a former commissioner and planning commissioner for the City of Chicago.

Carney lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Carney was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 5, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.009

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/5/2008 |and| 4/17/2012

Last Name

Carney

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

De La Salle Institute

Joachim Junior High School

Holy Angels Catholic School

Loyola University Chicago

DePaul University College of Law

First Name

Demetrius

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CAR15

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Ski The Mountain In Front Of You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/29/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Vegetables, Sushi

Short Description

Corporate lawyer Demetrius Carney (1947 - ) was a Commissioner and Planning Commissioner for the City of Chicago, who worked for several law firms including the Seattle based-firm, Perkins Coie, where he specialized in the areas of government relations and lobbying issues.

Employment

St. Ignatius College Prep

Chicago Title and Trust Company

Tucker, Watson, Butler and Todd

Lafontant, Wilkins and Butler

Butler and Carney

Carney and Brothers

Wildman, Harrold, Allen and Dixon LLP

Perkins Coie LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Demetrius Carney's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney recalls his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney describes his father's craftwork

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Demetrius Carney describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Demetrius Carney remembers moving with his family

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Demetrius Carney describes the sights and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Demetrius Carney recalls the Holy Angels Catholic School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Demetrius Carney describes the sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney remembers the Holy Angels Catholic School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney describes the racial demographics at the Holy Angels Catholic School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney recalls his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney recalls camping at the Abraham Lincoln Center in Janesville, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney remembers his penmanship

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney recalls his early interest of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney remembers his family's gatherings

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Demetrius Carney recalls moving to a white neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Demetrius Carney describes the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney recalls his experiences at the St. Joachim School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney recalls his decision to attend the De La Salle Institute in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney remembers the De La Salle Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney remembers his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney recalls his decision to attend Loyola University Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney remembers Loyola University Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Demetrius Carney remembers his first teaching position

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Demetrius Carney recalls his activism at Loyola University Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Demetrius Carney talks about his work ethic

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Demetrius Carney recalls teaching at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney recalls his admission to the DePaul University College of Law, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney recalls his admission to the DePaul University College of Law, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney describes his law school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney remembers his early legal career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney recalls joining the law firm of Tucker, Watson, Butler and Todd

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney recalls founding a law firm

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney recalls joining the law firm of Lafontant, Wilkins and Butler

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Demetrius Carney remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Demetrius Carney remembers his legal work for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Demetrius Carney remembers his legal work for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney recalls his challenges while working for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney recalls founding the Carney and Brothers law firm

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney recalls the clientele of his law firm

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney remembers the American Lawyers Consortium, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney recalls the success of his law firm

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney describes his public finance work

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney remembers his mentor, Earl Neal

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Demetrius Carney recalls his decision to leave Carney and Brothers, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Demetrius Carney recalls his decision to leave Carney and Brothers, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Demetrius Carney talks about his medical condition

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Demetrius Carney describes his medical condition, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney describes his medical condition, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney recalls his decision to leave Carney and Brothers

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney recalls the return of his brain tumor

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney recalls his experience at Wildman, Harold and Dixon LLP

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney recalls his clientele at Wildman, Harold and Dixon

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney recalls his decision to join Perkins Coie LLP

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney talks about diversity in law practice

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Demetrius Carney describes his law practice at Perkins Coie LLP

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney recalls his role on the City of Chicago Plan Commission

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney recalls his appointment to the Chicago Police Board

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney recalls the fatal shooting of LaTanya Haggerty

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Demetrius Carney's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney describes his tenure on the Chicago Police Board

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney recalls his challenges on the Chicago Police Board

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney reflects upon his career

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney recalls how he began working with airport concessionaires

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney describes his legal work with airport concessionaires

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney reflects upon the history of African American law firms

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney talks about the future of minority law firms

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Demetrius Carney reflects upon his legal career

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Demetrius Carney reflects upon his career

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Demetrius Carney describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Demetrius Carney reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Demetrius Carney describes his mentorship of young lawyers

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Demetrius Carney talks about racial discrimination in the United States

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Demetrius Carney reflects upon the political history of Chicago

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Demetrius Carney talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Demetrius Carney reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Demetrius Carney describes his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Demetrius Carney recalls founding the Carney and Brothers law firm
Demetrius Carney recalls the success of his law firm
Transcript
(Simultaneous) So now how do you go from Lafontant--to Wilkins and Butler [Lafontant, Wilkins and Butler, Chicago, Illinois], to Carney and Brothers [Carney and Brothers, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois], and where does brothers come into it?$$Okay. When I--are we on film now?$$Um-hm (laughter).$$Oh okay (laughter). Were we on film all that time?$$Yeah we were, but that's fine (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) When--when I--Jewel Lafontant [HistoryMaker Jewel Lafontant-MANkarious] wanted--it was really a firm where you shared space, it's really what it was. Yeah, that's how black lawyers practiced. And I was doing very well on my own. And Jewel wanted to really form a firm, and I didn't wanna--I didn't wanna do that. I just didn't like the economics that they were proposing, you know, in terms of the work I was doing and my clients would become part of the firm. I said, "No my clients are my clients, I developed these clients," you know, I had AKAs [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.] then, and you know, they said, "Wherever you go, we go." And so it was just a typical bartering at the time. And so I left with Jerome Butler to form a once again, form Butler and Carney. And I really had a good--had, had really good clients at the time.$$Who were some of your clients (unclear) (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) AKAs, I was starting to do work for Seaway National Bank [Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Chicago, Illinois]. I really developed a very significant real estate practice. I had picked up a couple savings and loans that I was doing--starting to do a little foreclosure work for, started to do a little real estate work. So I was developing a nice little client. You know, I was working really tough, but the, the clients are really starting to come. So I, you know, I didn't want my clients to become clients of her firm and you know, it was just probably more ego, probably would've been to my benefit as I look back, but I didn't wanna do it. So either you join the firm or you had to leave. And so Jerome and I talked about it and we decided that we're gonna leave and form our own firm. And so there was some space in the building with Tom Boodell [Thomas J. Boodell, Jr.], his--he had a firm and they had some space that they were not using on like the sixth floor. So we red- rented a suite of offices there and we started to grow the firm. And what happened was, Jerome Butler, his brother-in-law is Alan Brothers [Alan W. Brothers], so they were related. Jerome was married to Alan's sister. And so Alan was leaving Montgomery Ward and he wanted to come back into private practice, so he became part of the firm. And then right after we started the fi- growing the firm, Jerome became involved in the family-owned business that, you know, was Butler's restaurant. And so he left the practice of law to go ru- to be involved in his family business and Alan Brothers and I were the survivors. So, therefore, it became Carney and Brothers. And so we really--really started to develop the practice. Alan was a tremendous litigator and I had the skill set of developing business. And Alan said, "You just get the business and we'll handle it." So we hired a couple lawyers and I was just very good at--at--at securing business.$And you were blowing up, I'm telling you, you were like the model for, for a minority law firm (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I was, I was--and that--and that's how I grew it. I grew it with the AKAs [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.]--I meant excuse me, the ABA [American Bar Association], I still had the AKAs as a client. I still had Seaway National Bank [Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Chicago, Illinois] as a client. I mean it's just through these contacts that I've made along the way. And for some reason I had the knack to be able to attract business and keep business. I knew--I knew how to sell. We picked up Metropolitan Life Insurance [Metropolitan Life Insurance Company] in New York [New York]. I got on a plane and went out to New York, made a pitch on our firm and bought ba- brought back the business. I mean I just--I just had this knack in order to sell. And so that's how I grew Carney and Brothers [Carney and Brothers, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois]. When Daley [Richard M. Daley] became mayor, he liked our firm, so we picked up more business from--from--through the Daley administration.$$So during the Sawyer [HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer] years you didn't really do any more city business?$$You know, I started to do more city business at the end. Especially after Harold Washington and then you know you have to transition to Gene Sawyer and, and Rich Daley came in. And so Rich Daley really picked up the Harold Washington executive order and so he was really trying to use, you know, increase minority business. And so we were, of course it was [HistoryMaker] Earl Neal, it was our firm and I think there was probably Garland Watt too, he was very much involved. And so we, we started picking up more city business and we're really becoming very good in the public finance area.

Ralph Bernard Everett

Lawyer and political advisor Ralph Bernard Everett was born on June 23, 1951 in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1973 with honors from the Phi Beta Kappa Society and went on to attend Duke Law School, where he received his J.D. degree in 1976 and was an Earl Warren Legal Scholar.

Everett then went to work as a lawyer for the North Carolina Department of Labor in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was appointed as the Democratic staff director and minority chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in 1982, becoming the first African American to lead a Senate committee; he later became Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the full Committee. Everett achieved another “first” when he became the first African American to be named partner at the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in 1989.

Everett has advised several U.S. presidential campaigns, including Democratic candidates Ernest Hollings and Michael Dukakis. His political involvement continued when Everett served as the Senate Liaison to the Clinton-Gore Presidential Campaign in 1992 when Clinton defeated incumbent President George H.W. Bush. A devotee of the Democratic Party, Everett served as parliamentarian for the 1992 Democratic National Convention. With experience in telecommunications and policymaking, Everett served as the U.S. Ambassador for the 1998 International Telecommunication Union’s Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2007, Everett succeeded Togo D. West, Jr. as President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. based Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Everett has served on the boards of numerous community organizations, including the National Urban League, the Center for National Policy, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Cumulus Media, Inc., Shenandoah Life Insurance Company, and his church, Alfred Street Baptist Church, which is the oldest African American congregation in the City of Alexandra, Virginia.

Everett resides in Alexandria with his wife, Dr. Gwendolyn Harris Everett, and they have one adult son, Jason Gordon Everett.

Everett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 1, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.006

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/1/2008

Last Name

Everett

Middle Name

B.

Schools

Duke University School of Law

Morehouse College

Elloree Training School

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

First Name

Ralph

Birth City, State, Country

Orangeburg

HM ID

EVE01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Whatever You Do, Strive To Do It So Well That No Man Living And No Man Dead And No Man Yet To Be Born Could Do It Better.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/23/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Fish, Chicken

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive, administrative lawyer, and presidential advisor Ralph Bernard Everett (1951 - ) was the President and CEO of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. He served as lead counsel to the U.S. Senate commerce committee, and as a parliamentarian at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York City.

Employment

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLC

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ralph Bernard Everett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ralph Bernard Everett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ralph Bernard Everett lists his father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers the Elloree Training School in Elloree, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls the sharecropping community in Elloree, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes his father's leadership in the community

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers his neighborhood in Elloree, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes the sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about his parents' discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers segregation in South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers the Orangeburg massacre

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the response to the Orangeburg massacre

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls school integration in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes his activities at Wilkinson High School in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about his schools' unequal resources

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his decision to attend Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his start at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the students at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers the chapel services at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers the election of Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes Morehouse College Presidents Hugh Gloster and Benjamin E. Mays

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers the required reading at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls joining the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the Atlanta University Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the notable alumni of Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers his decision to study law

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes the activism at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his decision to attend the Duke University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his time at the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his time at the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes the political climate at the Duke University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about his classmates at the Duke University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes his work at the North Carolina Department of Labor

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls becoming a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers his arrival in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings' political career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls the African American staffers under U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about Thurgood Marshall and Thurgood Marshall, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes U.S. Senator Al Gore

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings' presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls serving as chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers the Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers his farewell party at the U.S. Senate

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ralph Bernard recalls meeting with African American congressional staffers

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers joining Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLC

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes his career at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLC, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls his work on Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls serving as a parliamentarian at the 1992 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls the mentorship of Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes his career at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLC, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes his work for President Bill Clinton's administration

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ralph Bernard Everett remembers meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the leadership of the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls joining the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ralph Bernard Everett recalls joining the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ralph Bernard Everett describes the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about the agenda of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ralph Bernard Everett shares his advice for young people

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ralph Bernard Everett talks about his son's accomplishments

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ralph Bernard Everett reflects upon the importance of family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ralph Bernard Everett reflects upon his life and career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Ralph Bernard Everett narrates his photographs

A. J. Cooper, Jr.

Attorney and founder of the National Black Law Students Association, Inc., and the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc., Algernon (‘Jay’) Johnson Cooper, Jr. was born on May 30, 1944, in Mobile, Alabama. Cooper’s parents were Gladys Catherine Mouton Cooper and Algernon Johnson Cooper, Sr., both graduates of Hampton University; he was also a descendent of the Seminole Chief Osceola. Cooper’s father ran the family-owned Christian Burial Insurance Company. Cooper attended St. Peter Claver Elementary School in Mobile and subsequently went on to the Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Illinois, in 1958, where he was the first African American student to attend. Cooper graduated in 1962 and followed his two older brothers to the University of Notre Dame to continue his education; there, he majored in Latin American history and earned his B.A. degree. In 1966, Cooper was accepted into New York University’s Law School, at a time where there were only nine African American students enrolled out of six hundred. In the summers, Cooper worked as a summer associate at the law firm of Strasser, Spiegelburg, Freid & Frank. While at New York University Law School, Cooper founded the National Black Law Students Association in 1967.

In late 1967, Cooper joined Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s U.S. Senate staff as an aide in New York. One year later, Cooper joined Senator Kennedy’s presidential campaign, managed the Watts campaign headquarters, and was with Kennedy when he was assassinated. Cooper escorted Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Mays to the funeral ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and later escorted Coretta Scott King on the funeral train from New York to Washington, D.C. for the senator’s burial at Arlington Cemetery. After earning his law degree in 1969, Cooper moved to Alabama where he became a successful civil rights lawyer and litigator. In 1972, Cooper was elected mayor of Prichard, Alabama, a city of some 50,000 citizens; he was the first African American to defeat a white incumbent in the state of Alabama. As mayor, Cooper founded and served as the first president of the National Conference of Black Mayors.

After serving two terms as mayor, Cooper joined the staff of Moon Landrieu, the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business. After that, Cooper became executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Cooper became a member of the professional staff of the House Ways and Means Committee, and then subsequently became the Chief of Staff and Tax Counsel to Congressman Harold Ford, Sr. In 1988, Cooper left the Hill and became a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm of Ginsburg, Feldman, and Bress, Chartered. Cooper’s legal specialties included litigation, legislative and administrative law, tax policy, and finance. Cooper was a member of the bars of Alabama and the District of Columbia and resided in Atlanta, Georgia.

Accession Number

A2005.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/21/2005

Last Name

Cooper

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Johnson

Schools

Marmion Military Academy

St. Peter Claver Elementary School

University of Notre Dame

New York University

First Name

Algernon "A.J."

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

COO09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fairhope, Alabama

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/30/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue Ribs

Short Description

Association chief executive, lawyer, mayor, and nonprofit chief executive A. J. Cooper, Jr. (1944 - ) founded the National Black Law Students Association, Inc. and the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc.

Employment

Strasser, Spiegelburg, Freid & Frank

Senator Robert Kennedy

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Crawford, Fields and Cooper

Prichard, Alabama

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Congressional Black Caucus

Congressman Harold Ford, Sr.

Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of A. J. Cooper, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes religious and racial conflicts in the American South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing in Lafayette, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his father's career in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his childhood activities in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls choosing to attend Marmion Military Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes school desegregation in Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on civil rights struggles in Mobile, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on civil rights struggles in Mobile, Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his experiences at Marmion Military Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls choosing to attend the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his experiences at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on racism within the Catholic Church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his political activities at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his studies at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls his interest in civil rights during the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his experiences at New York University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes founding the National Black Law Students Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes civil rights work at NYU School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes the activities of the National Black Law Students Association

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls political battles at New York University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his law practice in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recounts becoming mayor of Prichard, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls founding the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on the work of the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. talks about political concerns in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his tenure as mayor of Prichard, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes receiving an award from the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his government work in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his future plans

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his battle with acute depression

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered