Eugene Kinckle Jones

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Eugene Kinckle Jones
Born (1885-07-30)July 30, 1885
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Died January 11, 1954(1954-01-11) (aged 68)
Flushing, Queens, New York, U.S.
Nationality USA
Alma mater Cornell University
Known for Co-founder of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell University

Eugene Kinckle Jones (July 30, 1885 – January 11, 1954) was one the seven founders (commonly referred to as Jewels) of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell University in 1906. Jones became Alpha chapter’s second President.


Jones organized the first three Fraternity chapters that branched out from Cornell: Beta at Howard University, Gamma at Virginia Union University and the original Delta chapter at the University of Toronto in Canada (now designated at Huston-Tillotson University).

Jones was a member of the first Committees on Constitution and Organization and helped write the Fraternity ritual. Jones also has the distinction of being one of the first initiates as well as an original founder. Jones' status as a founder was not finally established until 1952.

Jones, an organizer for the National Urban League founded the Boston Urban League in 1917 and has been marching through history for equality in employment, housing, and health in Massachusetts ever since.

In 1918, Jones became the first Executive Secretary of the National Urban League. The League, under his direction significantly expanded its multifaceted campaign to crack the barriers to black employment, spurred first by the boom years of the 1920s, and then, by the desperate years of the Great Depression. He implemented boycotts against firms that refused to employ blacks, pressured schools to expand vocational opportunities for young people, constantly prodded Washington officials to include blacks in New Deal recovery programs, and a drive to get blacks into previously segregated labor unions.[1]

Jones was a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Black Cabinet, an informal group of African American public policy advisors to the President.[2]

Jones’ correspondence with Marian Anderson in the Marian Anderson Papers, folder 2927, is held at the University of Pennsylvania, Rare Book and Manuscript Library.[3]


  1. ^ "National Urban League History". National Urban League. Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Union University History". Virginia Union University. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  3. ^ "The "Seven Jewels": Students, Then Brothers". Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, A Centennial Celebration. Cornell University Library. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Wesley, Charles H. (1981). The History of Alpha Phi Alpha, A Development in College Life (14th ed.). Chicago: Foundation. ASIN: B000ESQ14W. 
  • Mason, Herman (1999). "The Visionary Jewel—Eugene Kinckle Jones". The Talented Tenth: The Founders and Presidents of Alpha (2nd ed.). Winter Park, Florida: Four-G. ISBN 1-885066-63-5. 

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