Earl G. Graves, Sr.
Chairman and CEO
Earl G. Graves LTD
Earl G. Graves is a nationally recognized authority on Black business development and the founder and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine, a business-service publication targeted to black professionals, executives, entrepreneurs and policy makers in the public and private sector. Today Mr. Graves serves as Chairman and CEO of Earl G. Graves LTD., parent corporation for the Earl G. Graves Publishing Company, which publishes Black Enterprise .
Mr. Graves received his B.A. degree in economics from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from the school’s ROTC program, he attended Airborne and Ranger School and finished his Army career as a captain in the 19th Special Forces Group of the Green Berets. He is also the recipient of the U.S. Army Commendation Award. Mr. Graves has received honorary degrees from more than 60 colleges and universities — including his alma mater.
Mr. Graves was an administrative assistant to the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy from 1965 to 1968. After Sen. Kennedy’s assassination, Mr. Graves formed a management consulting firm to advise corporations and major multinational companies on urban affairs and economic development. In 1972, he was named one of the 10 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. Time Magazine named him one of its 200 Future Leaders of the country in 1974. He is also listed in Who’s Who in America .
In 1999, Mr. Graves received the 84 th NAACP Springarn Medal — the highest achievement award for African Americans. In 2002, Fortun e Magazine named Mr. Graves one of the 50 most powerful and influential African Americans in corporate America. In 2004, Mr. Graves was honored with the Business Pioneer Award from the 50 th Anniversary Commemoration Committee for Brown v. Board of Education .
Mr. Graves serves as a director of Aetna, Inc., AMR Corporation (American Airlines), DaimlerChrysler AG Corporation, Federated Department Stores, Inc., Rohm & Haas Corporation, and is chairman of the Pepsi African-American Advisory Board.
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 business sectors. His autobiographical book titled “How to Succeed in Business without Being White” 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 of 44 years, Barbara. Mr. and Mrs. Graves have three sons — all successful professionals who work in the family’s businesses.