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black business leaders that made history

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History of our Black Veterans

Fat Burger's Founder, Lovie Louise Yancy

Lovie Louise Yancy - Have you ever had a Fat Burger? If so, you have an African American woman to thank for the deliciousness you experienced. Lovie Louise Yancey — Fat Burger's founder — was born in Bastrop, Tex., in January of 1912. Little is known about her early life in Texas. At the age of 35, Yancey and a friend partnered up on a 3-stool hamburger stand called Mr. Fatburger in South Central Los Angeles. Five years later, in 1952, Yancey bought her business partner out and changed the name of the burger joint to Fatburger. Popular among Los Angeles' entertainment and music industry celebrities, Fatburger gained significant notoriety and interest among potential investors. Eventually, in 1973 Yancey opened a Fatburger in Beverly Hills. By the 1980s she was growing the business through local franchising and by the end of 1985, the chain had over fifteen franchise sites throughout So. California. Today, Fatburger's footprint stretches from coast to coast with more than 75 locations across the U.S. Beyond her Fatburger legacy, Yancey established a multi-million dollar endowment at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., for research into sickle-cell anemia. Lovie Yancey died of pneumonia on January 26, 2008, at the age of 96. Learn more about Yancey by reading her profile on (link:

Shirley Chisholm

In November 1968 Shirley Chisholm of Brooklyn, New York, became the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. In 1972 she ran for the Democratic Nomination for President.

In November 1968 Shirley Chisholm of Brooklyn, New York, became the first
African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. 
In 1972 she ran for the Democratic Nomination for President.
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A McDonald's Franchisee since 1989, Parrish currently owns 28 McDonald's Restaurants in North Texas with sales of more than $60 million annually. For the last 8 years, Parrish Restaurants, LTD has been recognized by Black Enterprise Magazines's BE 100, as one of the Top Black Owned Business in the U.S., based on sales volume. He is currently serving his 2nd term as Chair and CEO of the National Black McDonald’s Owner Operator’s Association (NBMOA).  As Chair of the 41 year old organization, boasting $3.6B in sales and 1400 restaurants, the NBMOA awards over $750k in scholarships annually. As a high school senior, he was an All-American and 800 meter state champion in Hammon, Indiana. He also lettered four years and served as team captain and a tow time MVP for the Purdue track and field team. Parrish earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business at Purdue’s Krannert School of Business.  He was Dr. Cornell Bell’s first recruit into the BOP Program and made the Dean’s List seven out of eight semesters. He was inducted into the Hammond, Indiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He is committed to giving back and most recently was the major donor of Purdue’s Library Renovation Project.  The former Management and Economics Library reopened in April 2012 as the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics.  The state of the art library and learning lab is the first major campus facility named in honor of an African American alumnus. 

A proud family man, Parrish and his wife, Jewel, of 37 years, have a son, TV Personality Ro Parrish (UNT – BA 2002) and daughter, Jade (Purdue – BS 2012).  His hobbies include running, biking, reading, playing musical instruments and collecting vintage automobiles.  He and Jewel now reside in DeSoto, TX.

Dr. Patricia Era Bath, Inventor of Lasik Eye Surgery

If you are considering Lasik Eye Surgery, you can thank this woman who invented the procedure in 2000. She holds four of the patents on the procedure so you will be assisting her in her philanthropic work and helping her Alma Mata, Howard University through her endowment if you do get the procedure.

Dr. Patricia Era Bath (born November 4, 1942, Harlem, New York) is an American ophthalmologist, inventor and academic. She has broken ground for women and African Americans in a number of areas. Prior to Bath, no woman had served on the staff of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, headed a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology or been elected to the honorary staff of the UCLA Medical Center (an honor bestowed on her after her retirement).

Before Bath, no black person had served as a resident in ophthalmology at New York University and no black woman had ever served on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center. Bath is the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Her Laserphaco Probe is used to treat cataracts. The holder of four patents, she is also the founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in Washington D.C.   Read more ...