SULLIVAN, LEON HOWARD, 1922-
Leon Howard Sullivan papers, 1939-2001

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/90331

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Sullivan, Leon Howard, 1922-
Title: Leon Howard Sullivan papers, 1939-2001
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1086
Extent: 47.25 linear ft. (93 boxes), 12 oversized papers (OP), 2 oversized bound volumes (OBV), and AV Masters: 1 linear ft.
Abstract:Papers of African American Baptist minister and civil rights activist Leon Howard Sullivan, including correspondence, organization and subject files, writings, printed material, and audiovisual material.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access audiovisual materials in this collection.

Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Gift, 2008.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Leon Howard Sullivan papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Elizabeth Roke, Elizabeth Stice, and Maggie Greaves, 2011.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Leon Howard Sullivan (1922-2001) was born to Charles and Helen Sullivan of Charleston, West Virginia, on October 16, 1922. After graduating from West Virginia State College in 1943, Sullivan moved to New York City to attend Union Theological Seminary. Sullivan had been ordained a Baptist minister at the age of 18. He attended Union for 2 years, then Columbia University where he received a Masters in Religion in 1947. While in New York, Sullivan married his wife, Grace, in 1945. He served as pastor of the First Baptist Church in South Orange, New Jersey, from 1945 to 1950. In 1950, Sullivan and his wife moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he began his 38 year tenure as pastor of the Zion Baptist Church.

In the late 1950s, Sullivan organized a boycott of Philadelphia businesses that were not hiring African Americans. In 1964, he created the Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of America, whose mission was to provide practical job training to disadvantaged African Americans in Philadelphia. The organization has grown to include sixty affiliated programs in thirty states. Sullivan also founded OIC International in 1969.

In 1971, Sullivan was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of the General Motors Corporation, becoming the first African American to serve on the board of a major corporation. He served on the board for over twenty years. Beginning in the late 1970s, Sullivan became active in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa. In 1977, he developed the Sullivan Principles, a set of guidelines for companies with business ties to South Africa that encouraged equitable treatment and pay for black South African workers. Sullivan continued his involvement with the movement to end apartheid throughout the 1980s. In 1991, the first Leon H. Sullivan Summit was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, with the mission to bring together African American and African leaders and work to improve the economic and social conditions of all Africans. The summits are now held biennially.

During his career as a minister and social activist, Sullivan published several books, including America Is Theirs (1948), Build Brother Build (1969), and Philosophy of a Giant (1979). In 1999, the Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsibility were formally introduced at the United Nations. Sullivan died on April 24, 2001 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Leon Howard Sullivan (1922-2001) was born to Charles and Helen Sullivan of Charleston, West Virginia, on October 16, 1922. After graduating from West Virginia State College in 1943, Sullivan moved to New York City to attend Union Theological Seminary. Sullivan had been ordained a Baptist minister at the age of 18. He attended Union for 2 years, then Columbia University where he received a Masters in Religion in 1947. While in New York, Sullivan married his wife, Grace, in 1945. He served as pastor of the First Baptist Church in South Orange, New Jersey, from 1945 to 1950. In 1950, Sullivan and his wife moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he began his 38 year tenure as pastor of the Zion Baptist Church.

In the late 1950s, Sullivan organized a boycott of Philadelphia businesses that were not hiring African Americans. In 1964, he created the Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of America, whose mission was to provide practical job training to disadvantaged African Americans in Philadelphia. The organization has grown to include sixty affiliated programs in thirty states. Sullivan also founded OIC International in 1969.

In 1971, Sullivan was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of the General Motors Corporation, becoming the first African American to serve on the board of a major corporation. He served on the board for over twenty years. Beginning in the late 1970s, Sullivan became active in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa. In 1977, he developed the Sullivan Principles, a set of guidelines for companies with business ties to South Africa that encouraged equitable treatment and pay for black South African workers. Sullivan continued his involvement with the movement to end apartheid throughout the 1980s. In 1991, the first Leon H. Sullivan Summit was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, with the mission to bring together African American and African leaders and work to improve the economic and social conditions of all Africans. The summits are now held biennially.

During his career as a minister and social activist, Sullivan published several books, including America Is Theirs (1948), Build Brother Build (1969), and Philosophy of a Giant (1979). In 1999, the Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsibility were formally introduced at the United Nations. Sullivan died on April 24, 2001 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Leon Howard Sullivan from 1939-2001. The collection documents Sullivan's work with the Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia and the numerous organizations he founded to address minority employment, South African apartheid, and community development in the United States and in Africa. The papers consist of correspondence; personal financial and subject files; records relating to International Foundation for Education and Self-Help, Opportunities Industrialization Centers, Progress Investment Associates, and other organizations in which he participated; writings; photographs; and audiovisual material

Arrangement Note

Organized into seven series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Personal papers, (3) Organizations, (4) Sullivan Principles, (5) Published and unpublished writings, (6) Photographs, and (7) Audiovisual material.


Selected Search Terms

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Geographic Names

Form/Genre Terms


Description of Series

v1.11.0-dev