cover of book

Privilege and Prejudice: The Life of a Black Pioneer
by Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
Michigan State University Press, 2015
eISBN: 978-1-62896-232-1 | Cloth: 978-1-61186-171-6
Library of Congress Classification E185.97.W58A3 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 338.8

Privilege and Prejudice is a stereotype-defying autobiography. It reveals a Black man whose good fortune in birth and heritage and opportunity of time and place helped him to forge breakthroughs in four separate careers. Clifton R. Wharton Jr. entered Harvard at age 16. The first Black student accepted to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, he went on to receive a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago—another first. For twenty-two years he promoted agricultural development in Latin America and Southeast Asia, earning a post as chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation. He again pioneered higher education firsts as president of Michigan State University and chancellor of the sixty-four-campus State University of New York system. As chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF, he was the first Black CEO of a Fortune 500 company. His commitment to excellence culminated in his appointment as deputy secretary of state during the Clinton administration. A remarkable story of persistence and courage, Privilege and Prejudice also documents the challenges of competing in a society where obstacles, negative expectations, and stereotypical thinking remained stubbornly in place. An absorbing and candid narrative, it describes a most unusual childhood, a remarkable family, and a historic career.

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