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SportsMakers have demonstrated outstanding athleticism, competitive skills, and focused dedication to sportsmanship and include coaches and sports officials, chess players, and athletes, in addition to a wide range of other competitors.

Art Lee Shell, Jr.

Football player and coach Art Shell was born on November 26, 1946 in Charleston, South Carolina to Art Shell Sr. and Gertrude Shell. Shell graduated from Bonds-Wilson High School in 1964, and earned his B.S. degree in industrial arts education from Maryland State University in Princess Anne, Maryland in 1968.

After graduating from Maryland State University, Shell was drafted by the American Football League to play offensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders. In 1977, Shell earned his first Super Bowl ring after the Oakland Raider’s victory against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. He then played in Super Bowl XV in 1981 in which the Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles. Shell also competed in eight Pro Bowls, and was named to the AP First Team All-Pro in 1974 and 1977, and to the AP Second-Team All Pro in 1975 and 1978. He played a total of 207 games with the team from 1968 to 1982. After retiring as a player in 1983, Shell became an offensive line coach for the Los Angeles Raiders. In 1989, Shell was promoted to head coach of the Raiders, making him the first African American head coach in the National Football League in the modern era. Shell left the team in 1994, and became an offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995; and from 1997 to 2000, he served as an offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons. Shell also served as a senior vice president in charge of football operations for the NFL, before returning to coach the Oakland Raiders for the 2006-2007 season.

Shell was included on the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team, and inducted into the South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013. Shell was selected as NFL Coach of the Year in 1990. Sporting News ranked Shell as number fifty five on their list of the 100 greatest football players in 1999.

Shell and his wife, Janice Jeter Shell, have two children, Arthur Shell III and Christopher J. Shell.

Art Shell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/7/2018

Last Name

Shell

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lee

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Arthur

Birth City, State, Country

Charleston

HM ID

SHE06

Favorite Season

Christmas Holiday Season

Sponsor

Jeff Pash

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Family Homes

Favorite Quote

A Scared Man Can't Win.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/26/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Red Beans & Rice

Short Description

Football player and coach Art Shell (1946 - ) played offensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders from 1968 to 198, and coached the Los Angeles Raiders from 1989 to 1994, making him the first African American NFL head coach of the modern era.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Brown & Beige

Barry Sanders

Football player Barry Sanders was born on July 16, 1968 in Wichita, Kansas to William and Shirley Sanders. Sanders graduated from Wichita North High School in 1986. He earned a football scholarship to attend Oklahoma State University, where he remained until his junior year in 1988. That year, Sanders led the nation by averaging 7.6 yards per carry and over 200 yards per game, including rushing for over 300 yards in four games. He set college football season records with 2,628 yards rushing, 3,248 total yards, 234 points, 39 touchdowns, 37 rushing touchdowns, 5 consecutive 200 yard games, scored at least 2 touchdowns in 11 consecutive games, and 9 times he scored at least 3 touchdowns.

In 1989, Sanders was selected by the Detroit Lions as the third overall pick in the National Football League (NFL) Draft. Sanders began his career as the running back with the Detroit Lions in 1989. In 1991 and 1993, Sanders led the Lions to NFC Central division titles. In 1994, Sanders rushed for 1,883 yards, on a 5.7 yards per carry average. He also totaled 283 receiving yards. That season, he broke the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game without scoring a touchdown with 237, and was named the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year. In 1995, Sanders posted 1,500 yards rushing with 398 receiving yards. In 1996, Sanders rushed for 1,553 yards with a career-low 147 receiving yards. In 1997, he became the third player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Sanders announced his retirement from professional football in 1999. During his career, Sanders led the Lions to the playoffs five times and amassed 15,269 rushing yards, 2,921 receiving yards, 99 rushing touchdowns, and ten receiving touchdowns. Sanders held the record for the most seasons with 1,500 or more rushing yards (ten seasons) and is ranked third on the all-time list of rushing yards, behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. In 2017, he returned to the Detroit Lions organization as a brand ambassador.

In 2003, Sanders published his autobiography, Barry Sanders: Now You See Him.

As a college athlete, Sanders was awarded the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award, and the Heisman Trophy. He was also unanimously named an All-American. Upon entering the NFL, Sanders was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was the recipient of the Bert Bell Award, and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1997. Sanders was also named to the Pro Bowl during each of his ten seasons in the NFL. He was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and, in 2004, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sanders’ number was retired by the Detroit Lions.

Sanders has four children: Barry James, Nigel, Nicholas, and Noah.

Barry Sanders was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 22, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.224

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/22/2017

Last Name

Sanders

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Barry

Birth City, State, Country

Witchita

HM ID

SAN07

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida - Between Orlando and Miami

Favorite Quote

...Few Escape Their Teens and Most Surrender to a Vague but Murderous Pressure of Adult Conformity.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

7/16/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mom's Sweet Potato Pie

Short Description

Football player Barry Sanders (1968- ) was a running back for the Detroit Lions from 1989 until 1998. He was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 1988, and was ranked third on the all-time list of rushing yards in the National Football League.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Donald K. Anthony, Jr.

Fencer and entrepreneur Donald K. Anthony, Jr. was born on May 22, 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1975. Anthony then went on to attend Princeton University and fenced for the school’s varsity team. He graduated with his B.S.E. degree in systems and civil engineering in 1979 and later earned his M.B.A. degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1988.

After graduating from Princeton University, Anthony accepted a position at IBM as a systems engineer and marketing executive. In 1989, after ten years with IBM, he left to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. In 1996, Anthony founded the management consulting firm, Warrior Group, Inc. and became the company’s president and chief executive officer. He then became the national secretary of the United States Fencing Association in 2000. The same year, Anthony founded SwordSport LLC and served as the company’s president and chief executive officer. From 2008 to 2010, Anthony was executive director of After-School All-Stars Columbus. He was also the executive producer of the documentary film BlackBlades, which premiered in 2011 and focused on the history of African American Olympic fencers. The following year, Anthony was elected as president and chairman of the United States Fencing Association.

Anthony was a member of the National Black MBA Association’s Advisory Board since 1990, and was a trustee of the Ohio Society of CPAs Foundation. He also served as chairman of First Tee of Columbus from 2003 to 2012. He was co-chair of the Arnold Fencing Classic and a member of the executive committee of the International Fencing Federation from 2012 to 2016.

Anthony continued his fencing career after completing college and has won several accolades for his abilities. He competed in multiple World Championships and North American Cups, and earned multiple medals. Anthony also was at the U.S. Olympic Festival and the U.S.A. Fencing National Championship. In 1979, Anthony was awarded the Johnston Award for fencing at Princeton University.

Anthony and his wife, Karen, have one daughter.

Donald K. Anthony, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 14, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.199

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/17/2017

Last Name

Anthony

Maker Category
Middle Name

K.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Walnut Hills High School

Princeton University

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

ANT03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. John and Maui

Favorite Quote

I really don't have time for dumb things.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

7/14/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Thai and Mangoes

Short Description

Fencer and entrepreneur Donald K. Anthony, Jr. (1957 - ) was the founder, president, and CEO of the Warrior Group, Inc. and SwordSport LLC. He also served as the president of the United States Fencing Association.

Employment

Warrior Group, Inc.

IBM

SwordSport LLC

Favorite Color

Blue and Gray

Spencer Haywood

Basketball player Spencer Haywood was born on April 22, 1949 in Silver City, Mississippi. After graduating from Pershing High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1967, Haywood attended Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colorado. Haywood was selected to play on the United States men’s basketball team in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games and won a gold-medal for the United States. In 1969, Haywood transferred to the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan for his sophomore year. After experiencing racial discrimination on the University of Detroit basketball team, Haywood decided to leave college and play basketball professionally.

In 1969, Haywood played for the American Basketball Association’s (ABA) Denver Rockets. In 1970, at the age of twenty-one Haywood was voted ABA Rookie of the Year, Haywood signed with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Seattle Supersonics. At the time, the NBA prohibited teams from drafting players who were less than four years out of high school. Supersonics owner, Sam Schulman, and Haywood filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA. The cased reached the U.S. Supreme Court (Haywood v. National Basketball Association), which ruled in Haywood’s favor. The NBA subsequently changed their policy, allowing younger players to enter the NBA draft if they could provide evidence of “hardship.” Haywood played a total five seasons with the Seattle Supersonics. He was traded to the New York Knicks in 1975. In 1979, Haywood transferred to the Los Angeles Lakers, playing for a single season before moving to Italy to play basketball for an Italian league in 1980. After returning to the United States, Haywood played for the Washington Bullets. He retired from professional basketball in 1983. Haywood published his autobiography, entitled Spencer Haywood: The Rise, The Fall, The Recovery in 1992.

Over the course of his career with the NBA, Haywood made four NBA All-Star Teams, two All-NBA First Teams, and two All-NBA Second Teams. He retired from the NBA with a total of 14,592 career points and 7,038 rebounds. Haywood was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

Spencer Haywood has three daughters.

Spencer Haywood was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on October 11, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.180

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/11/2017

Last Name

Haywood

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Spencer

Birth City, State, Country

Silver City

HM ID

HAY16

Favorite Season

Autumn

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Favorite Quote

He May Not Come When You Want Him, But He's Always Right On Time

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

4/22/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Vegan Greens

Short Description

Basketball player Spencer Haywood (1949 - ) was a four-time NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist and played on the Denver Rockets, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks, New Orleans Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers and the Washington Bullets.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Lenny Wilkens

Basketball coach and player Lenny Wilkens was born on October 28, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Boys High School in Brooklyn and received his B.A. degree from Providence College in 1960, where he was a two-time All-American on the men’s basketball team.

Wilkens was chosen by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1960 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. He spent eight years with the Hawks organization and between 1960 and 1970, he was voted to nine all-star teams and finished second to Wilt Chamberlain for the NBA’s MVP Award in 1968. That same year, Wilkens was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics becoming a player-coach. He led the Sonics to their first winning season in 1971 and 1972. He ranked among the all-time leaders in assists, free throws, and was named MVP in the 1971 All-Star game. Wilkens left coaching to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1972, and later became player-coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. In 1975, he retired from playing after fifteen seasons and remained as coach of the TrailBlazers for an additional season.

Wilkens returned to Seattle as head coach midway through the 1977 and 1978 season. He coached the Sonics to the NBA Finals that year. In his eight seasons with the Sonics, the team won its only NBA Championship in 1979, and compiled a record of 357-277 for a winning percentage 56.3. He served as the Sonic general manager for one season before accepting the head coach position for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he coached for seven seasons. He later joined the Atlanta Hawks, coaching the team to the Central Division Championship and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1994. Wilkens remained with the Atlanta Hawks organization until 2000, and left to coach the Toronto Raptors from 2000 to 2003, and the New York Knicks from 2004 to 2005. The following year, Wilkens was hired as vice chairman of the Seattle SuperSonics ownership group, and later became president of basketball operations. Wilkens retired from the organization in 2007.

Wilkens was the only person named one of the fifty greatest players and one of the top ten coaches in league history, and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. 

Wilkens and his wife, Marilyn have three children, Leesha, Randy and Jamee.

Lenny Wilkens was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.177

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/05/2017

Last Name

Wilkens

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Organizations
First Name

Lenny

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

WIL80

Favorite Season

Fall Into Winter

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Be Consistent In What You Do And What You Say.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

10/28/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

USA

Favorite Food

My Wife's Fried Chicken

Short Description

Basketball coach and player (1937 - ) played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for fifteen years and transitioned to coaching where he won an NBA Championship and was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame as a coach

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

John B. Wooten

Football player John B. Wooten was born on December 5, 1936 in Riverview, Texas to Elmo Wooten and Henrietta Young. As a child, Wooten moved with his mother and siblings to Carlsbad, New Mexico. He graduated from Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and received his B.S. degree in education from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Boulder, Colorado in 1959. There, he became the second African American varsity football player in the university’s history, and as a senior, Wooten earned American Football Coaches Association All-America honors and was selected to play in the Chicago College All-Star Game.

After graduation, Wooten was selected in the fifth round in the 1959 National Football League Draft (NFL) as a defensive lineman by the Cleveland Browns. He played a total of 136 games for the Browns, and helped lead the team to their 1964 NFL Championship win against the Baltimore Colts. After nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Wooten played a single season with the Washington Redskins before he retired from professional football. In 1975, he became the director of professional scouting for the Dallas Cowboys, where he worked to make higher level coaching and staffing opportunities more equitable and accessible to African Americans. Wooten then joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 as vice president of player personnel. He resigned from the Eagles organization and was hired by the Baltimore Ravens in 1998 as the team’s assistant director of pro and college scouting. Wooten was then appointed as chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance in 2003, where he worked to prevent racial discrimination in the NFL’s coach and personnel hiring processes. He also used his position as chairman of the Alliance to encourage harsher penalties and stricter guidelines against the use of offensive language on the field. As of 2017, Wooten was the president of Wooten Printing in Coppell, Texas.

Wooten was awarded and honored numerous times for his successful football career. He was named as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1965; and, in 1979, was named as part of the Cleveland Browns All-Time All-Star Team. Wooten was also selected as a member of the University of Colorado’s All-Century Team. In 2010, he was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor, as well as the Browns’ Legends Program. Wooten was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Wooten has five children and five grandchildren.

John B. Wooten was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.162

Sex

Male

Interview Date

09/13/2017

Last Name

Wooten

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Riverview

HM ID

WOO13

Favorite Season

Football season

Sponsor

Jeff Pash

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I'm blessed.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/5/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken wings

Short Description

Football player John B. Wooten (1936 - ) was a defensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns, winning the 1964 NFL Championship, and served as chairman of the Fritz-Pollard Alliance.

Employment

National Football League

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Joetta Clark Diggs

Track and field athlete Joetta Clark Diggs was born on August 1, 1962 in East Orange, New Jersey to Joseph Clark and Jetta Clark. She graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey in 1980, and received her B.A. degree in public relations from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1984, where she won nine collegiate titles in track and field and was a fifteen time All-American.

In 1980, she participated in the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships and earned a gold medal in the 800 meters event. In 1988, she competed in her first Olympic Games, ranking within the top ten track athletes in the world. Diggs was a member of four U.S. Olympic teams and competed in 1992, 1996, and 2000 as well. She also participated in the World Indoor Championships in 1993 and won a bronze medal in the 800 meters event. In her final year on the Olympics team, Diggs was named captain of the women’s team. During her career, she ranked among the top ten American track and field athletes for twenty-one years, as well as among the top ten track athletes in the world since 1991. In 1998, Diggs was ranked number four in the world.  In 2000, Diggs was joined by her younger sister Hazel Clark, sister-in-law Jearl Miles-Clark and their coach, brother JJ to make Olympic history as the only family to comprise all three sports on the Olympic Team in the same event. In addition, she is the daughter of Jetta Clark and noted national educator and Principal Dr. Joe Clark, who was portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the popular motion picture, Lean On Me.

Following the end of her track and field career, she established the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation in 2002. The organization promoted physical activities for children of all ages and offered scholarships. She was also the president of Joetta Sports & Beyond, LLC, where she served as a motivational speaker.

In 1998, Diggs received the VISA Humanitarian Award. She was also chosen as Sports Illustrated “Hometown Hero.” Diggs was inducted into the University of Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2001, the Penn Relays Hall of Fame in 2004, the U.S.A. Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2009, and the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013. Diggs was selected by The Star Ledger as the “Woman Athlete of the Century.”

Diggs and her husband, Ronald Diggs have one child, Talitha.

Joetta Clark Diggs was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 10, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.083

Sex

Female

Interview Date

04/10/2017

Last Name

Diggs

Maker Category
Middle Name

Clark

Organizations
Schools

Maple Avenue Annex Elementary School

Columbia High School

University of Tennesee

First Name

Joetta

Birth City, State, Country

East Orange

HM ID

DIG03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nice

Favorite Quote

In order to be successful you have to have the ability to remain focused.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

8/1/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hillsborough

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fettucini Afredo

Short Description

Track and field athlete Joetta Clark Diggs (1962 - ) was a four-time Olympian who specialized in middle-distance running in the 800-meter and 1500-meter races. She was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2009.

Employment

Nike

Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation

Joetta Sports and Beyond, LLC

Favorite Color

Orange

Gail A. Marquis

Basketball player and financial advisor Gail A. Marquis was born on November 18, 1954 in New York, New York. Marquis earned her B.A. degree in education and psychology from Queens College in 1980. She later received her M.B.A. degree from the University of Phoenix in 2007.

Marquis was a two-time all American at Queens College. The 1972-1973 Queens College Women’s Basketball Team made history as the first women’s team to be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. As a member of Queens College Women’s Basketball, in 1975, they were the first women’s team ~college or pro~ to play basketball at Madison Square Garden.

Marquis played on the 1976 U.S.A. Olympic Team in Montreal, Canada; it was the first time that Women’s Basketball was played at the Olympic Games. The team won the silver medal. Marquis then travelled to Nice, France as one of only a few women, to play professional basketball in the French Federation of Basketball. She competed for an all-French team, Olympique d’Antibes Juan~les~Pins. From 1976-79, Marquis lived in the South of France where she also studied French at L’Universite de Nice in Nice, France. In 1977, Marquis represented Team U.S.A. at the World University Games in Sofia, Bulgaria. There, the U.S.A. National Team earned another silver medal.

Marquis returned to the U.S. to play for the New York Stars and later the New Jersey Gems of the Women’s Basketball League (W.B.L). Marquis’ N.Y. Stars set a league record for wins (28), and won the League Championship, as the first women’s pro team to call Madison Square Garden their home court.

Marquis entered the financial services industry and worked for firms including, Dean Witter Reynolds, PaineWebber, UBS, Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase in Operation, Information Technology, Sales and Wealth Management. In 2013, she launched her own company, G. Marquis~World Financial Services.

At the same time, Marquis was as a broad color commentator and sports analyst for the NCAA Division I games at Rutgers University and Penn State University, the American Basketball League (A.B.L) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (W.N.B.A.)

Marquis is an 11-time Hall of Famer having been inducted in 2009 to the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. She is the first woman of color inducted. She is part of the inaugural induction class into the Queens College Athletic Hall of Fame (2012), and has received numerous awards including, the Inaugural Title IX-Trailblazer Award from the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
Marquis has served as trustee and representative to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, The Queens College Foundation, The Wellesley Centers for Women, The Women’s Sports Foundation, and the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.
Currently, Marquis serves as the director of community outreach for the School of Business at New Jersey City University and is the regional director for the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at New Jersey City University.

Gail A. Marquis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.099

Sex

Female

Interview Date

05/04/2017

Last Name

Marquis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

University of Phoenix

Queens College, City University of New York

First Name

Gail

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MAR20

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

11/18/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Basketball player and financial advisor Gail A. Marquis (1954- ) was on the 1976 Olympic women’s basketball team where she helped win a silver medal.

Favorite Color

Green

Jimmie Lee Solomon

Sports executive Jimmie Lee Solomon was born on March 11, 1956 in Thompson, Texas to Jimmie Lee Solomon, Jr. and Josephine Solomon. In 1974, Solomon graduated from Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg, Texas and received an academic scholarship to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he played in the position of wide receiver on the Dartmouth football team. He earned his B.A. degree in history from Dartmouth College in 1978. After he was cut from the Houston Oilers’ NFL training camp, Solomon attended Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and earned his J.D. degree in 1981.

Solomon joined the law firm of Baker and Hostetler in Washington, D.C. as the first African American attorney, where he specialized in sports and corporate law. After nine years of service to the firm, he was promoted to partner. In 1991, Solomon became Major League Baseball’s (MLB) director of minor league operations before being promoted to executive director of minor league operations and then to senior vice president of baseball operations, where he was responsible for over 170 teams and 4,500 players, and he also established the Major League Baseball Futures Game, as well as the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy, which provided baseball facilities and training to inner-city children and teenagers. In 1997, Solomon negotiated a ten-year agreement between MLB and the Minor Leagues, generating an economic benefit of $170 million to the Major League. In 2005, Solomon was named executive vice president of baseball operations by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. In that position, he created the Civil Rights Game in honor of baseball’s position at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement as one of the first integrated organizations in the country, and the MLB Urban Invitational. Solomon became the executive vice president for baseball development in 2010. He retired from Major League Baseball in 2012.

Solomon was known for his work in bringing more African Americans to the game of baseball and was honored by Sports Illustrated as one of the magazine’s “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports. He was also named as one of the “40 Most Powerful African Americans in Sports” by Black Enterprise.

Solomon has one daughter, Tricia.

Jimmie Lee Solomon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.032

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/07/2017

Last Name

Solomon

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lee

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Northside Elementary School

Deaf Smith Elementary School

Lamar Junior High School

Lamar Consolidated High School

Dartmouth College

Harvard Law School

First Name

Jimmie

Birth City, State, Country

Sugarland

HM ID

SOL03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rio

Favorite Quote

Success resides at the intersection.... If it's difficult, I'll do it right away. If it's impossible, it nay take me a little longer.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

3/11/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Crawfish

Short Description

Sports executive Jimmie Lee Solomon (1956 - ) was partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Baker and Hostetler and served as executive vice president of baseball development for Major League Baseball.

Employment

Baker and Hostetter

Major League Baseball

Johnson Petrov LLP

Favorite Color

Black

Evander Holyfield

Boxer Evander Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962 in Attmore, Alabama, to Annie Riggen Holyfield and Isom Coley. Holyfield’s family moved to Atlanta, Georgia when he was four years old and at eight years old, he joined the Boys & Girls Club and met Carter Morgan, who introduced him to the field of boxing. Holyfield graduated from Fulton High School in 1980.

In 1984, Holyfield became the National Golden Gloves Champion and went on to represent the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, where he received the bronze medal in the light heavyweight division. He turned professional at the age of twenty-one, and moved to the cruiserweight division in 1985, and won his first world championship the following year for the WBA title. He became the undisputed cruiserweight champion after defeating Ricky Parkey and Carlos de Leon and winning the WBC and IBF titles.

In 1988, Holyfield moved up to the heavyweight division and later defeated Buster Douglas in 1990 to claim the unified WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight titles and the undisputed heavyweight championship. He successfully defended his titles against heavyweights like George Foreman and Larry Holmes, before his first professional loss to Riddick Bowe in 1992. The following year, Holyfield regained his WBA and IBF titles in a rematch with Bowe. In 1994, he lost those titles in a match against Michael Moorer. That year, Holyfield was forced to retire after being diagnosed with a heart condition. He returned to boxing a year later, and defeated Mike Tyson in 1996 to reclaim the WBA title becoming the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to win a world heavyweight title three times, in what The Ring magazine named the “Fight of the Year” and “Upset of the Year.” In the 1997 rematch with Tyson, Holyfield won after Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield’s ear. Holyfield also later reclaimed the IBF title from Moorer.

In 1999, Holyfield fought Lennox Lewis for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, ending in a draw. Holyfield was defeated in the rematch with Lewis eight months later. In 2000, he defeated John Ruiz to regain the WBA title, passing Muhammad Ali to become the first boxer to win a heavyweight championship four times. In 2001, Holyfield lost the title in a rematch against Ruiz. Holyfield continued fighting and in 2010 defeated Francois Botha for the WBF title, again breaking his record and becoming a five-time heavyweight champion of the world. He retired from boxing in 2014.

Holyfield has eleven children.

Evander Holyfield was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 12, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.019

Sex

Male

Interview Date

01/24/2017

Last Name

Holyfield

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Evander

Birth City, State, Country

Atmore

HM ID

HOL20

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

10/19/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Fort Lauderdale

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Eggs

Short Description

Boxer Evander Holyfield (1984 - ) a record-setting five-time heavyweight champion of the world, is known for his 1996 win over Mike Tyson named “Fight of the Year” and “Upset of the Year” by The Ring magazine.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Purple