PNC Bank & WCLK Celebrate Black History Month: Henry "Hank" Thomas
PNC Bank and Jazz 91.9 WCLK celebrate Atlanta's African American Business Leaders--Henry “Hank” James Thomas was born on August 29, 1941 in Jacksonville, Florida. He spent most of his childhood in St. Augustine. As a student at Howard University, Hank Thomas joined the first Freedom Rider group on May 4, 1961. On Mothers Day, when the bus Thomas was riding on reached Anniston, Alabama, it was set on fire by the Ku Klux Klan. Ten days later Thomas rode from Montgomery to Jackson, Mississippi. There he was incarcerated at the notorious, Parchman State Prison Farm. Following that he served in combat as a medic during the Vietnam War. Following that, he utilized the discipline he learned from the Civil Rights Movement and ventured into business, becoming a successful owner of coin-operated laundramats, then transitioned to franchising from Dairy Queen to Burger King to McDonald’s. Currently Thomas is concentrating on his Marriott Fairfield Inn franchises, and is a leading elder-statesman of Atlanta's African American business community. PNC Bank celebrates Atlanta’s African American Business Leaders on February 24 at the Center for Civil and Human Rights at 7:30 AM. Click here for more information about that event.