T.R.M. Howard Spotlights an Amazing Life of Black Self-Empowermentby The Independent Institute May 7, 2018
OAKLAND, CA—Can readers inundated with tragic news stories of the sort that motivate #blacklivesmatter draw insight and inspiration from the biography of a pioneering African-American who became one of the nation’s greatest self-made success stories? When the subject is larger-than-life renaissance man T.R.M. Howard, the answer is: Yes, absolutely!
This remarkable story has never been told better than in the new book, T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, and Civil Rights Pioneer, by historians and Independent Institute Research Fellows David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito (Independent Institute, 2018), and with a foreword by award-winning investigative journalist Jerry W. Mitchell.
“T.R.M. Howard” offers all the excitement one might expect of a hit TV mini-series, featuring a charismatic protagonist whose myriad accomplishments would be hard to believe if they weren’t the known truth.
Born into poverty in 1908, Theodore Roosevelt Mason “T.R.M.” Howard excelled in every realm he pursued, be it business, medicine, public speaking, sports hunting, entrepreneurship, opinion journalism, or political activism. And he possessed an uncanny talent for finding controversy—or having it find him.
At a time when government-backed segregation curtailed opportunities for African-Americans, T.R.M. Howard:
- Became a surgeon and founded hospitals and medical associations
- Launched numerous business enterprises that made him one of the wealthiest black men in America
- Organized civil rights rallies, campaigns against police brutality and disfranchisement, and a statewide boycott
- Mentored or inspired black civil rights activists such as Medgar Evers and Rosa Parks
- Drew the wrath of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover for criticizing the Bureau’s refusal to investigate the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till
- Ran for Congress as a Republican against a powerful black Democratic incumbent and ally of Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley
- Raised money for the children of the then recently assassinated leader Malcolm X
Yet despite the serious nature of his challenges and achievements, Dr. Howard was quick to laugh, fun loving, and famous for throwing lavish parties in his Chicago mansion, furnished with big-game trophies he had bagged in Africa and attended by celebrities such as Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, and Jesse Jackson.
“T.R.M. Howard” tells more than the story of a single man. It also highlights the heroic contributions of black professionals and entrepreneurs pursuing equal justice and economic betterment during a time of social upheaval. Captivating and meticulously researched, this path-breaking book offers hope and inspiration as Americans consider the next steps for securing liberty and justice for all. For more information, see www.trmhowardbook.com.
The Independent Institute is a non-profit research and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity.