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Born in Chicago in 1901, he grew up in Hyde Park and attended University High School before entering the University of Chicago.

Through the years, he actively served both his city and the university. He was a director and member of the executive committee of the Chicago 21 Corporation, a life trustee of the University of Chicago, and a member of the Council on Chicago Booth. He served as a member of the President's Committee on Equal Opportunity Housing; president of the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council; president of the Chicago Mortgage Bankers Association; and chairman of the Chicago Steering Committee of the United Negro College Fund.