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Clarence B. Jones
*On this date in 1931, Clarence Jones was born. He is a Black businessman and writer.
From Philadelphia, PA, Clarence Benjamin Jones' parents were domestic workers and he was raised in a foster home and a boarding school in New England. He graduated from Palmyra High School in Palmyra, NJ. In 1956 he received his B.A. from Columbia College, Columbia University. In 1959 he received a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University's School of Law followed by a Certificate from The New York Institute of Finance and the NASD for his Allied Membership in the NYSE. He and his wife Anne moved to Altadena, California, where Jones established practice in entertainment law.
Additionally, Jones has an Honorary Doctorate in Communications from Allegheny College in Allegheny, PA, Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters, Drew University, Madison, NJ, Lincoln University, PA, and the University of San Francisco. Through his work in the civil rights movement, Mr. Jones has dramatically impacted the course of American history. In April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Martin Luther King, Jr. to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations.
In a distinguished career, Jones served as speechwriter and counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr., he also coordinated the legal defense of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, AL. The Supreme Court ruling in this case ' Sullivan v. The New York Times ' resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In September 1971, he again found himself at the center of history-in-the-making when at the request of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller; he was requested to negotiate an end to the Attica prison inmate rebellion. In finance, Jones partnered with Sanford I. Weill and Arthur Levitt, Jr., as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), in the Wall Street investment banking firm Carter, Berlind & Weill. Jones was the first Black to be named an allied member of the New York Stock Exchange.
He has been twice recognized as Fortune Magazine's 'Man of the Month,' and founded successful financial, corporate, and media-related ventures. He has also provided strategic legal and financial consulting services to several governments around the world including The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Zambia. He has received numerous state and national awards recognizing his significant contributions to American society. Jones is currently Executive Consultant to Marks Paneth & Shron LLP ('MP&S'), a financial services firm headquartered in New York. He is presently writing a book about his experiences with Dr. King as a Scholar in Residence at Stanford University's Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute in Palo Alto, CA. In additional areas, he serves as both Senior Partner of Clemmensen Capital Company, an investment banking boutique specializing in cross-border finance for Korea, and President & CEO of CBJ Multimedia Associates, Inc., specializing in media and telecom.
Jones has been the subject of numerous television and radio interview programs, appearing in such notable media vehicles as CNN, The O'Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show, NY1's One-on-One with Budd Mishkin, and NPR radio. A much-requested speaker, he has addressed standing-room-only corporate audiences at Citigroup and the U.S. headquarters of British Petroleum and was the featured speaker at a university-wide lecture commemorating the 78th birthday celebration of Dr. King delivered to faculty and students at Stanford during Black History Month (an event which was broadcast live to local radio stations throughout the Bay Area). Jones has served on the prestigious boards of The Impact Repertory Theater & Dance Co. and The Theatre Development Fund NYC, in New York, NY; the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, NY; and the College-Bound Student Alliance in Boulder, CO.