Serving as a consulting producer and a humanities team member for the documentary film The Latimer Legacy, Hugh B. Price is a descendant of the Latimer family.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Price has held an unusual array of positions of leadership and service as an executive, advocate, teacher, author, and board director in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors.
He served as president and CEO of the National Urban League from July 1994 until April 2003. Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is the oldest and largest community-based movement empowering African-Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. The League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in New York City, with 92 affiliates serving 300 communities in 37 states and the District of Columbia.
During his tenure, Mr. Price conceived and launched the League’s historic Campaign for African-American Achievement, spearheaded pressure on the federal government to combat police brutality and racial profiling, vigorously defended affirmative action, and helped repair frayed relations between the Black and Jewish communities. He led the way in tripling the League’s endowment; strengthening its board of directors and staff; defining a new mission and strategic vision for the 21st century; establishing the League’s new research and policy center known as the National Urban League Institute for Opportunity and Equality; reviving Opportunity, the League’s landmark magazine; and establishing its headquarters on Wall Street in New York City.
From 2008 until 2013, Mr. Price was the John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He also served as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, the nation’s oldest think tank.
After graduating from Yale Law School in 1966, Mr. Price began his professional career as a legal services lawyer representing low-income clients in New Haven, CT. During the turbulent late 1960s, he served as the first executive director of the Black Coalition of New Haven.
In 1978, Mr. Price and his family moved to New York, where he served until 1982 as a member of the editorial board of the New York Times. He wrote editorials on an array of public policy issues, including public education, welfare, criminal justice, and telecommunications. He then served for six years as senior vice president of WNET/Thirteen in New York, the nation’s largest public television station. In 1984, Mr. Price became director of all national production. Notable series developed or produced for PBS under Mr. Price include Nature, Great Performances, The Mind, American Masters, Dancing, Art of the Western World, Childhood, and Global Rivals.
Mr. Price was appointed vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1988. He oversaw its domestic investments to improve education for at-risk youth and increase opportunities for people of color. He was instrumental in conceiving and launching such innovative initiatives as the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and the Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth (now known as Community Foundations Leading Change).
Following the National Urban League, Mr. Price served for two years as senior advisor and co-chair of the Non-Profit and Philanthropy Practice Group at the global law firm of DLA Piper. In 2006-07, he co-chaired the Commission on the Whole Child for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Mr. Price is the author of five books, most recently This African-American Life: A Memoir. The memoir was named a Bronze Medal Winner in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for 2018. His other books are Strugglers Into Strivers: What the Military Can Teach Us About How Young People Learn and Grow; Mobilizing the Community to Help Students Succeed; Achievement Matters: Getting Your Child The Best Education Possible; and Destination: The American Dream, a compilation of his speeches and position papers published by the National Urban League. John Merrow, the education correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and winner of the McGraw Prize in Education, named Strugglers Into Strivers as one of the dozen best education books of 2014.
His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and journals, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Phi Delta Kappan, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Education Week, Chronicle of Higher Education, Educational Leadership, American Legacy, New York Times Sunday Travel Section, and Review of Black Political Economy.
Mr. Price’s article published in Washingtonian magazine entitled “Jackie and Me,” about growing up as an ardent baseball fan in the nation’s capital, won first place for magazine sports writing in the 2006 Dateline Awards presented by the Washington DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The article was cited as one of the notable essays for 2005 in The Best American Essays 2006.
In February 2010, the Carl A. Fields Center at Princeton University staged an exhibit entitled “Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Birth of the New South Africa: A Personal Account of Cape Town in 1990.” The exhibit was based on photographs Mr. Price took and local newspapers he collected during a visit to Cape Town that coincided with the historic speech on February 2, 1990, by South African President F.W. de Klerk freeing Nelson Mandela from prison and proclaiming the end of apartheid.
Over the years, Mr. Price has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including Meet the Press, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, The Charlie Rose Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, Crossfire, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, CBS Evening News, Lead Story, BET Tonight, The Montel Williams Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and many national and local NPR broadcasts. While at the National Urban League, he distributed a weekly radio commentary and wrote a weekly column, entitled “To Be Equal,” for African-American newspapers across the country.
Mr. Price currently serves on the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. He previously chaired the board of the Jacob Burns Film Center. In addition, Mr. Price is vice chair of the board of the Lewis Latimer House Museum. He previously chaired the board of the Jacob Burns Film Center and served on the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. He was formerly on the boards of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Verizon, Georgetown University, Sears Roebuck, Mayo Clinic, the Committee for Economic Development, the Educational Testing Service, and the Urban Institute.
Mr. Price has received honorary degrees from Yale University, Amherst College, and Indiana University/Purdue University, as well as the Award of Merit from the Yale Law School Association, the President’s Medal from Hunter College, and honorary degrees from numerous other colleges and universities. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary member of the Academy of Political Science.