Richard Dean Parsons

Richard Dean Parsons was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1948. He attended the University of Hawaii and earned a law degree from Albany Law School, where he graduated first in his class. The year he took the New York state bar exam (1971), he earned the highest score. He is the current chairman of Citigroup and the former CEO of Time Warner.Read More »

Henry Green Parks, Jr.

Henry Green Parks, Jr.  was the first African American CEO to take his company, Parks Sausages Company, public in 1970. It was listed on the NASDAQ. He was born in 1916 in Athens, GA, but his family moved to Dayton, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University and did some graduate work in marketing. After he graduated, he worked for Pabst and became one of their leading salesmen. He left Pabst to become a partner at Graham and Associates, a New York City Public Relations firm. Read More »

Joseph L. Searles III

Joseph L. Searles III was born in 1940 and graduated from Kansas State University and George Washington University Law School. He was a lawyer, financier and protogé of John V. Lindsay, who was Mayor of New York. He became the first black floor member and broker of the New York Stock exchange on February 12, 1970. Read More »

Kenneth I. Chenault

Kenneth I. Chenault was born June 2, 1951 in Long Island. He graduated from Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School. He worked for a couple of law firms before beginning his career at American Express in 1981.

When he became CEO of the company, in 2001, he was just the third black CEO of a Fortune 500 company in history. He has been credited with revitalizing the company’s brand, winning back corporate clients who had abandoned the company because of high fees and boosting morale in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He is co-chair of the Business Roundtable and a 2002 inductee into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame.