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Suzanne De Passe
*Suzanne De Passe was born on this date in 1946. She is a Black media entrepreneur.
De Passe was born in New York City to a Harlem-born mother of Jamaican descent and a father of Haitian and French descent. Raised in Harlem, she attended Manhattan High School and later Syracuse University. De Passe began her career in show business at the Cheetah nightclub in New York City. Through her friendship with Cindy Birdsong, she began working at Motown as a Creative Assistant to Berry Gordy Jr.
Early in her career, De Passe developed Michael Jackson and his brothers (The Jackson 5) 's wardrobe and the act they took on the road. She was instrumental in bringing the record label to television. This included critically acclaimed and highly rated specials, including the award-winning Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, produced while she was President of Motown Productions. When Motown was sold, she partnered with her mentor in Gordy/de Passe Productions and subsequently established de Passe Entertainment in 1992. Her long association with Mr. Gordy was featured in the December 2008 issue of Vanity Fair: Motown the Untold Story, The Labels Greatest Legends, In Their Own Words, with photography by Annie Leibovitz.
In 2002, de Passe was named Time Warner Visiting Professor to the Department of Radio, Television, and Film at Howard University's John H. Johnson School of Communications, a post she held for the requisite three years. During Howard University's 138th Charter Day celebration in March 2006, de Passe received an honorary doctorate of Doctor of Humanities. From 2002 until 2008, served as Executive Producer of Showtime at the Apollo, a weekly variety program nationally syndicated by Warner Brother/Telepictures. In 2005 and 2006, she co-created, wrote, and executive produced the Black Movie Awards for TNT.
Currently, she was developing King, a film on the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. De Passe was the Producer-in-Residence at Emerson College, School of the Arts in Boston. She also served as the Emerson College 2007 Balfour Distinguished Lecturer. De Passe served as Executive Producer of the half-hour situation comedies Sister, Sister, and Smart Guy. In 2009, De Passe was featured in HBO's The Black List: Vol. 2.