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Herman J. Russell, a business titan who will forever be a guiding light

Herman J Russell photo at wake

The home church of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ebenezer Baptist Church, held the wake for the late Atlanta business titan Herman J. Russell Sr. on Friday, November 21, 2014. Power brokers from Atlanta and beyond attended to salute the founder and CEO emeritus of H.J. Russell & Co., which is a testament to Mr. Russell’s business genius.

Many of the country’s most influential business leaders, entrepreneurs and media paid respect and offered condolences to his bereaved family including sons Herman Jr. and Michael, and daughter Donata Russell.

Munson Steed and Earl Graves

Rolling out founder and publisher Munson Steed and Black Enterprise founder and publisher Earl Graves

Atlanta’s Honorable Mayor Kasim Reed shared eloquent remarks that illustrated the great value of the towering legacy Mr. Russell gave to the city and to the world.

The head of the business-publishing dynasty, Black Enterprise, father and son, Earl Graves Sr. and son Butch, reflected on the importance of H.J. Russell & Co.’s high ranking on the Black Enterprise Magazine’s top 100 Businesses over the years.

All of the speakers shared fond memories of the visionary business mogul whose family had the courage and prowess to overcome adversity to diversity.

Emerging from blueprints to a sacred place of worship, the dynamic church where the wake was held, Ebenezer, is one of a plethora of examples of HJ Russell & Co.’s development brilliance.

Members of the Russell Family were so dignified in their remarks their love and appreciation for their deceased patriarch dripped from every word.

Judge Greg Mathis and rolling out founding publisher and CEO Munson Steed flank Phaedra Parks and two lovely young ladies

Judge Greg Mathis and rolling out founding publisher and CEO Munson Steed flank Phaedra Parks and two lovely young ladies

Judge Greg Mathis spoke of how great a businessman Mr. Russell was and how “he is a guiding light for all to see, now and forever.”

Herman J. Russell touched the lives of so many. He leaves behind an excellent blueprint of success and fostering an empire. From construction to international airport concessions, Herman J. Russell was an enterpriser who blazed trails and paved more than just roads, but highway for todays and future Black business leaders and entrepreneurs so they can now trade on Wall Street and occupy the White House.

Legendary attorney Vernon Jordan, a confidant to our nation’s leaders, illuminated the room with his presence as well as Atlanta attorney and reality starlet Phaedra Parks.