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Michael Roberts is the classic American entrepreneur. Born to middle class hard working parents — his father, Victor Roberts a WWII veteran and thirty-nine year US Post Office employee, and his mother Delores Roberts is a retired school teacher — educated in the St. Louis public school system, he worked his way through college and law school to become one of America’s leading businessmen. A born leader and scholar-athlete, he was Vice President of the Student Council in college, founder of his campus’ Association of Black Collegians, President of Kappa Scroller Pledge Class, served on the Editorial Board of the Student Newspaper, was appointed Special Assistant to the Dean, and served as Captain of his Varsity Tennis and Basketball teams that became State Champions. While in law school, he was elected to the Student Bar Association. Prior to graduation from law school, he was selected as a participant in special studies programs at the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France (1973); and The Hague Academy of International Law, The Hague, Holland (1972 & 1973).
Mr. Roberts received his B.S. Degree from Lindenwood University in 1971 and his Juris Doctorate degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 1974. He is also recipient of Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees from Lindenwood University, Morris-Brown College and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Tougaloo College.
Throughout his rise in business, Mr. Roberts maintained a strong commitment to the African-American community from which he came. Locating his headquarters in the heart of St. Louis’ inner-city, his endeavors over the last thirty-five years have created thousands of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, raised the level of economic activity and enhanced the quality of life for the African-American community.
Mr. Roberts’ broad range of professional knowledge and experience developed as both a business owner and public official (St. Louis Board of Aldermen, 1977-1985) encompasses the application of innovative financing strategies for large public projects, public-private sector development negotiation strategies, and successful management techniques for urban commercial properties. His leadership in the creation of innovative strategies for financing of redevelopment projects propelled the City into a major redevelopment phase. He sponsored legislation for St. Louis’ new convention center, for the historic Fox Theater, the St. Louis Convention Center and Union Station redevelopment. And, renamed several streets after famous African-Americans such as “James Cool Papa Bell”.
In the decades that followed, Mr. Roberts used his extraordinary and creative leadership abilities to build a business empire that encompasses television and radio broadcasting, commercial, retail and residential real estate development, wireless communications, hotel ownership and management. An overview of his achievements includes:
Owned & managed 76 companies with over 11,000 employees comprised of:
1. Owned & managed 12 TV stations; largest African-American owned television group in the United States
2. Owned & managed 13 hotels; largest African-American owned hotel group in the United States
3. Owned & managed over 5M sq ft of commercial and residential real estate including three city blocks in downtown St. Louis and 20 city blocks in North St Louis
4. Largest African-American residential real estate developer in the Bahamas $30M project
Today, he is one of America’s most successful and respected African-American business leaders.
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