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THE BIOGRAPHY OF
DR. EARL G. GRAVES
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Earl G. Graves, Ltd. and
Founder and Publisher,
Black Enterprise Magazine
G. Graves is a nationally recognized authority on Black business
development and the founder and publisher of BLACK ENTERPRISE
Magazine. In 1972, he was named one of the ten most outstanding
minority businessmen in the country by the President of the United
States, and received the National Award of Excellence in recognition
of his achievements in minority business enterprise. He is also
listed in Who's Who in America, and in 1974, was named one of
Time Magazine's 200 future leaders of the country.
Today, he is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Earl G. Graves,
Ltd., parent corporation for the Earl G. Graves Publishing Company,
publisher of BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine--a business-service
publication targeted to black professionals, executives,
entrepreneurs and policy makers in the public and private sector. It
has been profitable since its tenth issue and yearly sales
(currently over $53 million) are steadily increasing. BLACK
ENTERPRISE has a paid circulation of 475,000 with a readership
of more than 4.1 million. It is carried on board most major
airlines, and can be found on newsstands nationwide. In 1997, the
magazine was honored with the FOLIO: 1996 Editorial Excellence Award
for Business/Finance, winning over 370 entrants.
Earl G. Graves also served as Chairman and CEO of Pepsi-Cola of
Washington, D.C., L.P., the largest minority-controlled Pepsi-Cola
franchise in the United States. He acquired the $60 million
franchise in July of 1990. The company covers a franchise territory
of over 400 square miles including Washington, D.C. and Prince
George's County, Maryland. At year-end 1998, he sold the franchise
back to the parent company where he continues to be a significant
stockholder and is Chairman of Pepsi's Customer Advisory and Ethnic
Mr. Graves is a staunch advocate of higher education and equal
opportunity. In recognition of his support of entrepreneurial
education and his many years of contributing to Morgan State
University, including a $1 million gift to advance business
education, the University renamed its school of business and
management, the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management.
The announcement was made by University President Dr. Earl
Richardson during the BLACK ENTERPRISE 25th Anniversary Gala
on August 9, 1995.
Mr. Graves was an Administrative Assistant to the late Senator
Robert F. Kennedy from 1965 to 1968. After Senator Kennedy's
assassination, Mr. Graves formed his own management consulting firm
to advise corporations on urban affairs and economic development.
Included among the firm's clients were major multinational
Mr. Graves serves as a Director of Aetna, Inc., AMR Corporation
(American Airlines), DaimlerChrysler AG Corporation, Federated
Department Stores, Inc., and Rohm & Haas Corporation. In addition,
Mr. Graves serves as a volunteer on the boards of TransAfrica Inc.
and the American Museum of Natural History and Planetarium.
In 2002, Mr. Graves was named by Fortune Magazine as one of
the 50 most powerful and influential African Americans in corporate
America and also was appointed to serve on the current
administration’s Presidential Commission for the National Museum of
African American History and Culture. He also serves on the Board of
Selectors of the American Institute for Public Service, the Advisory
Council of the Character Education Partnership, the Board of the
Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation, The Schomburg Center
for Research in Black Culture and the National Advisory Board of the
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. In addition, Mr.
Graves is a trustee of Howard University, the Committee for Economic
Development, the Special Contributions Fund of the NAACP and the New
York Economic Club. He also served as a Civilian Aide to the
Secretary of the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1980.
Mr. Graves is a ROTC graduate, attended Airborne and Ranger School
and finished his Army Career (in the rank of Captain) as a member to
the 19th Special Forces Group, the Green Berets. He is also the
recipient of the U.S. Army Commendation Award.
Long active in Scouting, Mr. Graves currently serves as a Vice
President of the National Executive Board and is also a member of
the Marketing Committee for the National Office of the Boy Scouts of
America. He was formerly National Commissioner of Scouting, and
Chairman of the National Communications Committee. Mr. Graves is the
recipient of scouting's highest recognition awards for volunteer
service: the Silver Buffalo Award, 1988; the Silver Antelope Award,
1986; and the Silver Beaver Award, 1969.
During the span of his business and professional careers, Mr. Graves
has received numerous awards and honors for his outstanding business
leadership and community service. In 1998, he received the Marietta
Tree Award for Public Service from the Citizens Committee for New
York City, Inc.; the Charles Evans Hughes Gold Medal Award from The
National Conference for Community and Justice; the Ronald H. Brown
Leadership Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce; and the
Merrick-Moore Spaulding National Achievement Award at the 100th
Anniversary celebration of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance
Company, among others. In 1995, he was named New York City
Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and was also inducted
into the National Sales Hall of Fame by the Association of Sales and
Marketing Executives. Other awards include the Dow Jones & Company
Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence in 1992; the 1991 "Free
Enterprise Award" from the International Franchise Association; and
the New York State Regents Medal of Excellence. In 1999, he received
the 84th NAACP Spingarn Medal, the highest achievement award for
African Americans and was named one of the Top 100 Business News
Luminaries of the Century by TJFR, a publication that covers
business journalism. In that same year, he also received the
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
Mr. Graves is a member of the National Black College Hall of Fame
and has also lectured at Yale University as a Poynter Fellow. He
received his B.A. degree in economics from Morgan State University
in Baltimore, Maryland, and has received honorary degrees from 53
colleges and universities, including his alma mater.
Elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in
2000, Mr. Graves is continually sought after as a keynote speaker by
small and large corporations, as well as the public and non-profit
sectors of business in America. He has authored a book entitled,
“How to Succeed in Business Without Being White.”
It chronicles the success strategies of America’s premier
African-American businessman. Published by HarperBusiness
Publications, the book was released in April 1997 and made the
New York Times and the Wall Street Journal Business Best
Sellers lists. The book was also selected as a finalist for the 1997
Financial Times/Booz-Allen & Hamilton Global Business Book Award.
Mr. Graves was born in Brooklyn, New York and currently resides in
Westchester County with his wife, Barbara, of 42 years. Mr. and Mrs.
Graves have three married sons, all successful professionals who
work in the family’s businesses.