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Steve Huntley

lawyer, presidential adviser, and boxing promoter, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the eldest of the three children of the insurance executive Truman K. Gibson Sr. and Alberta Dickerson Gibson, a school teacher. The family first moved to Columbus, Ohio, to escape the menacing racial environment of the South, and then in 1929 they moved to Chicago so that Gibson Sr. could pursue his business interests. There Truman K. Gibson Jr. enrolled at the University of Chicago. While an undergraduate he worked as a researcher for Harold Gosnell, helping Gosnell gather information for his book Negro Politicians: The Rise of Negro Politics in Chicago (1935).

After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 1935 Gibson was recruited to join the legal team representing the real estate broker Carl Hansberry who was challenging a restrictive racial real estate covenant that prohibited African ...

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Steven J. Niven and John McDermott

secretary of state, national security adviser, educator, was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the only child of John Wesley Rice Jr., an educator and minister, and Angelena Ray, a teacher. Her mother, an accomplished pianist, named her after the Italian musical direction con dolcezza, meaning to play “with sweetness.” The Rices viewed the restrictions of Jim Crow Alabama as obstacles for their daughter to overcome. She did so effortlessly, taking early lessons in ballet, French, flute, and piano. Extra tutoring from her father enabled her to skip the first and seventh grades.

Though she enjoyed a comfortable, if by no means wealthy, childhood, Rice was not immune to the harsh realities of Birmingham under Bull Connor, the city's notoriously racist commissioner of public safety. Like everyone else in the city, she attended segregated schools, and one of her classmates was killed in the 1963 ...

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Greg Sidberry

the first African American female secretary of state. Condoleezza Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Her father, John Wesley Rice III, was a school guidance counselor, football coach, and pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Her mother, Angelena Ray, taught science, music, and speech and was an accomplished pianist who served as the church musician. The Rices wanted their daughter to have a professional career in classical music and created her name, Condoleezza, from an Italian musical term, con dolcezza, which means “with sweetness.”

The Rice family lived in the segregated neighborhood of Titusville a middle class enclave of schoolteachers and professionals High priority was given to education and academic success and the importance of dress grooming and manners was emphasized as well Condoleezza exceeded all expectations She was given lessons in piano ballet French and anything else that would help her be twice as good as ...