Franklin D. Raines
Shout out to Franklin D. Raines—business executive and Rhodes Trust Scholar.
The son of two janitors, you rose to unprecedented heights to become the first Black CEO of a Fortune 500 company. As chairman of Fannie Mae, you led the charge to promote the advancement of Blacks and Latinx, and others from traditionally marginalized groups, as homeowners. You paved the way for other CEOs such as Ursula Burns, first Fortune 500 Black woman CEO, and Kenneth Chenault, eventual chairman and CEO of American Express.
A young man from modest means, you refused to be mired by mediocrity. Instead, you stayed the course, and remained hesitant to sacrifice long term interests for short term incentives. You have taught me and others how to put in the work and then trust the work. You are tautologically a brilliant genius, and a reason why my educational aspirational cement is not yet dry.
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