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Dr. Edward Irons, Clark Atlanta University, and a life well lived

Dr. Edward Irons and Kiplyn Primus.jpg
Diana Guyton for Storycorps Atlanta
Dr. Edward Irons and Kiplyn Primus at the Atlanta Storycorps Booth in 2015.

This week on The Local Take I’m sharing an interview I did with Dr. Edward Irons at StoryCorps in 2015. Dr. Irons was the Dean Emeritus at the Clark Atlanta University School of Business. StoryCorps is a non-profit organization that collects oral histories archived at the Library of Congress Folklife Center. StoryCorps has a recording booth at the Atlanta History Center.

Irons passed away earlier this year, and a scholarship fund has been established in his name. Dr. Irons lived a broad life, shaping several #HBCU Institutions, including Florida A&M and Howard University. Born in 1924, he was often the first and only African-American during his academic and professional careers. Irons still spoke about a few of his achievements with amazement. He referenced the phrase “only by grace,” which became the title of his autobiography.

Our interview starts with Dr. Irons explaining how he became the first person in his family to attend college. He attended Wilberforce University. He also speaks about participating in the student protest at Florida A&M University. Dr. Edward Irons attended Harvard University and, in 1960, became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Finance from that institution. Irons put his dissertation on banking into practice later in Houston, Texas, where he chartered a bank.

For information about the Dr. Edward Irons Scholarship at Clark Atlanta University

For more information about StoryCorps Atlanta

Here is a link to the complete forty-minute interview.