Maggie Lena Walker (courtesy photo)

Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934) – Maggie Lena Walker was the first Black woman to charter a bank in the U.S., opening St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, where she served as president. After having three sons, she went to work part time as an agent for an insurance company, the Women’s Union, while attending night school for bookkeeping.  She also volunteered at St. Luke and eventually worked her way up in 1889, to become the executive secretary-treasurer of the renamed organization, the Independent Order of St. Luke.  

Walker started publishing the St. Luke Herald in 1902 to publicize and promote the order.  In 1903, she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and became its first president. She earned the recognition of being the first women to charter a bank in the United States.  

The bank severed relations with St. Luke fraternal order and then merged with two other Black banks to form the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company.  She became the chairwoman of the board.  Walker supported many charities and organization that worked to better the quality of life of Black people such as the Urban League, the Virginia Interracial Committee and the NAACP. 

Andrew Rube Foster (courtesy photo)

Andrew “Rube” Foster (1879-1930) – Rube Foster was an American baseball player who gained fame as a pitcher, manager, and owner and is known as the “father of Black baseball” after founding the 1920 Negro National League (NNL), the first successful professional league for African American ballplayers. At the age of 18, he had begun playing semiprofessional baseball in Texas for the Waco Yellow Jackets. 

 In 1902, he joined Frank Leland’s Chicago Union Giants and then, left to play in an integrated semiprofessional league in Michigan. He had an impressive career as a player and eventually joined with businessman John Schorling to form the Chicago American Giants. The American Giants, led by Foster as player, manager, and owner, played at South Side Park and became one of the greatest teams in the history of Black baseball, winning Negro league championships in 1914, 1915, and 1917.  

In Kansas City, Missouri, in 1920, Foster met with seven other owners of African American baseball clubs for the purpose of establishing the NNL. As chief executive of the NNL, he curtailed the excessive trading of players to establish some parity of talent between the clubs. Foster was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. 

Franklin D. Raines (courtesy photo)

Franklin D. Raines (1949-present) – Corporate executive and lawyer, Franklin D. Raines was the first Black CEO of a Fortune 100 company. Raines joined the investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Company, where he served for eleven years from 1979 to 1991, becoming the first Black general partner on Wall Street.  In 1991, he was named vice chairman for the Federal National Mortgage Association “Fannie Mae” in Washington, D.C. and served in this capacity from 1991 to 1996.  

In 1999, Raines returned to Fannie Mae as its chief executive officer and chairman and served in the role for six years, until his retirement in 2004. Raines has served on numerous boards which include AOL, PepsiCo, Pfizer Boeing, Time Warner and National Urban League to name a few.