Sullivan, Leon Howard, 1922-


Born in Charleston, West Virginia in 1922, Reverend Leon H. Sullivan was educated at Garnet High School, West Virginia State College, Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. He received honorary degrees from over 50 colleges and universities and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award and the Notre Dame Award. After serving at churches in West Virginia, New York and New Jersey, Reverend Sullivan became pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia where he served from 1950 to 1988. In 1970, Reverend Sullivan was elected to the Board of Directors of the General Motors Corporation, where he served for over 20 years. In 1977, Reverend Sullivan developed the Sullivan Principles, a code of conduct for human rights and equal opportunity for companies operating in South Africa. The Sullivan Principles are acknowledged to have been one of the most effective efforts to end discrimination against blacks in the workplace in South Africa, and to have contributed to the dismantling of apartheid. To further expand human rights and economic development to all communities, Reverend Sullivan created the Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsibility in 1997. (Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Web site, retrieved March 12, 2008.)

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