In support of Black History Month, this week we spotlight several successful African American business leaders. Some of these names our Patriots may have heard of; others perhaps not. One sure thing these billionaire entrepreneurs all have in common is the high value they place on education.
Robert F. Smith
Smith, the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, made national headlines in 2019 when he pledged to pay off student loans for the entire graduating class of Morehouse College.
Current Net Worth: $5 Billion
High school: East High School, Denver, CO
College: Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1985; Master of Business Administration from Columbia University with concentrations in finance and marketing.
Steward once watched his car get repossessed from his office parking lot. Today, he’s the billionaire founder and chairman of IT provider World Wide Technology—one of the largest Black-owned businesses in America.
Current Net Worth: $3.5 Billion
High School: Clinton High School, Clinton, MO
College: Bachelor's degree in business from Central Missouri State University in 1973
The media mogul got her start in the entertainment and news industry, later morphing her hit talk show into a business empire.
Current Net Worth: $2.7 Billion
High School: East Nashville High School, Nashville, TN (was on the debate team)
College: Full scholarship Tennessee State University (HBCU), studied communications
Not only is Jordan regarded as one of the NBA’s greatest players, he’s also the highest-paid athlete, thanks to his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets and a Nike shoe deal.
Current Net Worth: $1.9 Billion
High School: Emsley A. Laney High School, Wilmington, NC
College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majored in cultural geography
In the words of Jay-Z, “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.” Since hitting the hip-hop scene more than 25 years ago, the rapper has created a $1 billion fortune that encompasses art and real estate.
Current Net Worth: $1 Billion
High School: Jay-Z didn't graduate from high school, but he's encouraging others to pursue their education. He has said more that once, "Education is super important. I don't have a high school diploma or a college diploma, but still for me to articulate, I had to have some form of schooling to articulate my thoughts." He also holds special performances to raise money for college scholarship foundations.
Have a wonderful week Patriots!
Mrs. Tinsley, Principal
Liberty Middle School
Sunday, February 7, 2021