Michael Steele

Michael Steele became the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee in January 2009. From 2003 to 2007, he was the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland. During his time as Lieutenant Governor, he chaired the Minority Business Enterprise taskforce, actively promoting an expansion of affirmative action in the corporate world.

Michael Stephen Steele was born on October 19, 1958 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and was adopted as an infant by William and Maebell Steele. Following William's death in 1962, Maebell, worked for minimum wage as a laundress to raise her children, ignoring her friends' appeals to apply for public assistance. She would later tell Michael 'I didn't want the government raising my children'. She later married John Turner, a truck driver. Michael and his sister, Monica Turner, were raised in the Petworth neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C. which Steele has described as a small, stable and racially integrated community that insulated him from some of the problems elsewhere in the city. Steele's sister later married and divorced former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.

Michael Steele attended Archbishop Carroll Roman Catholic High School in Washington, D.C., participating in the Glee Club, the National Honor Society and many of the school's drama productions. During his senior year, he was elected student council president. In 1977, Steele enrolled at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where he received a bachelor's degree in international studies.

Michael Steele spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood, but, ultimately, chose a career in law instead. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991. A corporate finance attorney, Mr. Steele founded his own company, The Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm. His writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, and The Journal of International Security Affairs, among others.

Although he was raised in a family of Democrats, Michael Steele grew up to join the Republican party. Soon after joining this party, he founded the "Republican Leadership Council", and in 1995, the Republican Party tagged him as the "Republican Man of the Year", for the state of Maryland. Michael Steele actively took part in several political campaigns and was a delegate in the "Republican National Convention", held in Philadelphia, in 2000.

Even though the state of Maryland was traditionally a Democrat stronghold, the 2002 general elections went in favor of the Republicans. Michael Steele became lieutenant governor in January, 2003. A self-described Lincoln Republican. Michael S. Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he became the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland.

Steele's popularity grew steadily over the years. Named a 2005 Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership and awarded the 2005 Bethune-DuBois Institute Award for his ongoing work in the development of quality education in Maryland, Steele has served on a variety of boards and commissions, including the Export-ImportBank Advisory Board, the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, and the Republican National Committee. In February, 2007, Michael Steele took up the seat of chairman of GOPAC, a Republican training organization, that helps and funds national and state campaigns.

Michael S. Steele was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 30, 2009. He was later replaced by Reince Priebus. Known for his humble nature, Michael Steele remains rooted to the political scene. True to his Christian faith, he leads a spiritual life, taking part in the activities at St arys Catholic Church and attending Sunday services with his wife and children.

Click on the links below for detailed information and photos on polilcical leaders in Black history in the United States


The first black judge to have been appointed by the president to the federal bench was William Henry Hastie, whom Franklin Delano Roosevelt named as a district court judge for the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1937.

The White House

In 2008 Barack Obama became the first African-American to win the presidency. He served for two terms.


The 49 African-American members of Congress form the Congressional Black Caucus, which serves as a political bloc for issues relating to African Americans.


To date, ten African Americans have served in the United States Senate. In 1870, Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first African American senator.

Mayors, Governors, Lt. Govenors

In 2001 there were 484 black mayors but that number is in decline. In 2000, nine of the nation’s 25 largest cities had black mayors. Today, just four do.

White House appointed positions

The appointments of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State made them the highest-ranking African Americans in the United States presidential line of succession


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Civil Rights Activists

These men and women risked and sometimes lost their life to fight for the cause. Read more


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