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John Hooker

Senior vice president of Commonwealth Edison, John Timothy Hooker was born on November 25, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois. The son of Mississippi immigrants Arthur and Rosa Horton Hooker, Hooker grew up in Chicago’s Lawndale community located on the West Side. He attended Theodore Hertzel Elementary School, Hess Upper Grade Center and Farragut High School. At Hess Upper Grade Center, Hooker was inspired by civil rights activist Al Raby and teacher Warner Sanders. Graduating from Farragut High School in 1966, Hooker got married and was hired by Commonwealth Edison that same year.

Starting in the company mailroom at ComEd, Hooker learned as much as possible about the company. Hooker rose to clerk typist, to time keeper, to material clerk, and by 1974, he was promoted to human relations representative. Then in 1976, Hooker began working in the marketing department where he was promoted to director of marketing for Bolingbrook, Illinois and the western suburbs in 1984. In 1987, he became the ComEd liaison to the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and City Hall. Hooker went on to earn his B.S. degree from Chicago State University in 1990 and helped found the Exelon African American Members Association (EAAMA). Hooker served as area manager for ComEd in the western Chicago suburbs and director of external affairs. Later, in 1995, Hooker was named director of governmental affairs and influenced the passage of the Illinois Consumer Choice Law of 1997. Hooker was promoted to vice president of property management for Exelon Energy Delivery, and in 2000, he became an officer of the company. In 2004, Hooker was appointed senior vice president of Commonwealth Edison.

A 1994 participant in Leadership Greater Chicago, Hooker serves on several boards including: the Chicago State University Foundation, Peoples Consumer Cooperative, the Safer Foundation, Junior Achievement and the African American Initiative. Hooker is a member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. He is also a member of Chicago University’s Business Hall of Fame Committee and is involved in the Chicago Public School’s Youth Motivation program.

Hooker lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife, Kim. They have three adult children.

Hooker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.024

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/22/2008

Last Name

Hooker

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Chicago State University

Theodore Hertzel Elementary School

Hess Upper Grade Center

Roosevelt University

DePaul University

Farragut Career Academy Hs

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HOO05

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Frank Clark

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida

Favorite Quote

I'm A Strong-Willed Person So I Tend Not To Give In Or Give Up. I Basically Just Got To Give Out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/25/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Energy executive John Hooker (1948 - ) was a senior vice president of Commonwealth Edison. He also helped found the Exelon African American Members Association.

Employment

Commonwealth Edison

Jet magazine

Sears Roebuck & Company

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Earth Tones

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Stating of John Hooker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Hooker lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Hooker describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Hooker describes his mother's upbringing in Lexington, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Hooker describes his father's upbringing in Lexington, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Hooker talks about his parents' move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Hooker describes the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Hooker talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes his household in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Hooker remembers the gang activity in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Hooker talks about how he avoided gang involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Hooker remembers his paper route

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Hooker talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Hooker recalls his experiences at the Julius H. Hess Upper Grade Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Hooker recalls the movies and television of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Hooker remembers selling Jet magazine

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes his religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Hooker describes Farragut High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Hooker remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes the political figures in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - John Hooker talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Hooker remembers working at Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Hooker recalls his college aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Hooker remembers marrying his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Hooker talks about the African American executives of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Hooker recalls his recruitment to the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Hooker describes the discrimination against black employees at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Hooker recalls his start in the mailroom of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Hooker remembers working as a clerk typist at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Hooker recalls his promotion to timekeeper at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes his decision to enroll in night school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Hooker remembers his bachelor's degree program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Hooker recalls working as a material clerk for the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Hooker recalls his promotion to the human resources department of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Hooker remembers joining the marketing department of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Hooker talks about customer service at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Hooker describes the influence of his upbringing on his work at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes the quality of service at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Hooker recalls his role as a liaison to the City of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Hooker remembers working with the aldermen of the Chicago City Council

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Hooker recalls negotiating a franchise agreement with the City of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Hooker recalls working as an area manager for the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Hooker describes the Exelon African American Members Association

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Hooker recalls the founding of the Exelon African American Members Association

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Hooker describes the impact of the Exelon African American Members Association

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Hooker recalls becoming the director of external affairs for the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Hooker describes the Leadership Greater Chicago program

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Hooker talks about his second and third marriages

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John Hooker describes his role in the deregulation of Illinois' utility markets

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Hooker talks about the regulation of the utilities industry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Hooker describes the aftermath of utility market deregulation in Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Hooker recalls becoming an officer of the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Hooker describes his role as senior vice president at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Hooker reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Hooker describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Hooker reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John Hooker reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John Hooker talks about his children

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - John Hooker describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - John Hooker describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John Hooker narrates his photographs