Cover image for African-American business leaders and entrepreneurs
African-American business leaders and entrepreneurs
Kranz, Rachel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Facts On File, Inc., [2004]

Physical Description:
xiv, 322 pages ; illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC102.5.A2 K73 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
HC102.5.A2 K73 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



This text offers both a wide range of individual snapshots and a diverse collective portrait of African Americans who have succeeded in business. Each A-Z entry provides basic bibliographical data as well as a further reading list, including Internet sources where appropriate.

Author Notes

Rachel Kranz received a B.A. in history from Carleton College and an M.A. in literature from Columbia University. She was a prolific ghostwriter and co-author. Her novel, Leaps of Faith, was published in 2000. She was a playwright, who founded her own theater company Theater of Necessity. She was also a journalist and tournament poker player. She wrote a blog entitled Adventures in Poker and wrote articles for Poker Pro Magazine. She died from cancer on August 28, 2017 at the age of 62.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Part of Facts on File's "A to Z of African Americans" series, this volume includes over 150 biographical sketches of the most significant entrepreneurs from every historical era. The author strikes a balance in including individuals across eras, geographical areas, types of industry, and sizes of enterprise. Besides well-known individuals (Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Wally "Famous" Amos, Don King) that one expects to find, Kranz also includes slaveholders, abolitionists, inventors, caterers, shipbuilders, cigar makers, music executives, hotel keepers, and restaurant owners. Of note are profiles on the first African American governor, the dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln, and the first African American to serve as a director on the New York Stock Exchange. Indexes by business type and year of birth are provided. The larger businesses covered include publishing, beauty products, banking and finance, insurance, real estate, and television. Selected essays include photographs or sketches; all provide a brief list of further readings. A concise introductory guide to African American entrepreneurs. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Academic and public libraries. L. Kong California State University, San Bernardino



For as long as there have been blacks in the Americas, there have been African-American entrepreneurs. Before the Civil War, free people of color worked as artisans, tavernkeepers, and in many other jobs. Enslaved African Americans could be found doing everything from managing plantations and trading goods on behalf of their owners to conducting their own trade. A small but significant number of African Americans even owned slaves of their own. After the Civil War, African Americans founded enterprises to serve their own community--from funeral parlors and newspapers to companies that manufactured beauty products. Later in the 20th century, African Americans founded new types of businesses and also rose to the top of the corporate hierarchies in a number of industries, heading such internationally famous companies as American Express and AOL Time Warner. African-American Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs explores black participation in the business world. It conveys a sense of the reach and scope of black enterprise by profiling more than 150 individuals from every era of U.S. history, including many women and unusual figures as well as those representative of more mainstream African-American business. This comprehensive reference offers both a wide range of individual "snapshots" and a diverse collective portrait of African Americans who have succeeded in business. Each A-to-Z entry provides basic biographical data as well as a further reading list, including Internet sources where appropriate. A general bibliography, two subject indexes (one by type of business, one by year of birth), a general index, and approximately 50 black-and-white photographs are also featured to enhance the resource's reference value. Profiles include: Don Barden: real estate speculator, automotive dealer, cable executive, casino owner William Washington Browne: founder of fraternal organization, banker Emma Chappell: banker, executive director of RAINBOW/PUSH's Wall Street Project Elizabeth Keckley: seamstress, dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln Thomy Lafon: businessman, philanthropist Vera Moore: cosmetics manufacturer Russell Simmons: music and media executive Madame C. J. Walker: hair-care products manufacturer Oprah Winfrey: television talk show host, actress, television and film producer, publisher and many others. Excerpted from African-American Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs by Rachel Kranz All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.