John Hope Bryant

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John Hope Bryant
John Hope Bryant.jpg
Born (1966-02-06) February 6, 1966 (age 54)

John Hope Bryant (born February 6, 1966) is an American financial literacy entrepreneur and businessman. Bryant is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of nonprofit Operation HOPE,[1] chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures and The Promise Homes Company, co-founder of Global Dignity, advisor to business and government and author of bestselling books on economics and leadership. He served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability,[2][3] the vice chair on the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy[4] and as the chairman of the Committee on the Underserved.[5][6][7]

Early life[edit]

Bryant in 2019

Bryant was born on February 6, 1966 in Los Angeles, California, and raised primarily in Compton, and in the South Central area of Los Angeles, by parents Juanita Smith and Johnnie Will Smith. Bryant graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1984.

Bryant started his first business at age 10, a neighborhood candy store.[8]


On May 5, 1992, Bryant founded Operation HOPE, Inc.[9] immediately following the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California.

Spearheaded by Bryant, the first Bankers Bus tour occurred while parts of the city were still on fire.[10] Bryant has organized and led over 15 bankers bus tours since HOPE’s inception in 1992, including the cities of Los Angeles, Maywood and Oakland, California, Anacostia, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia, with the purpose of encouraging financial investment in low-to-mod communities.[11][12][13]

On January 22, 2008, Bryant was appointed vice-chairman of the President’s Council on Financial Literacy by U.S. President George W. Bush.[14] He continued this work under President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability (PACFC).[15] He was appointed chairman of the new Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the PACFC in January 2012.

Bryant directly inspired the creation of the City of Los Angeles loan fund (Administration of Mayor Tom Bradley), financial literacy as U.S. federal government policy, circa 2008, (George W. Bush Administration), U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Entrepreneurship Education  (George W.  Bush Administration), emergency financial disaster preparedness, response and recovery federal policy framework for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA (George W. Bush Administration), commitments for 100+ local financial literacy councils across the U.S., and formalized the inclusion of FEMA into federal financial capability policy (a seat on the U.S. Financial Literacy & Education Commission for the Obama Administration).[16]


In November 2014, Bryant started a pursuit in motorsports. His first track day was a 2 Day event with Chin Track Days at Road Atlanta in a modified 2010 Lotus Evora. Bryant quote "fell in love with the track and the car" and further described high performance driving as "Buddhism at 150mph." [17]

In February 2016, Bryant attended the Skip Barber Racing School at Road Atlanta and received his Full Competition Racing Certification.[18]

In April 2016, Mark Lauth, CEO of Fantastic Racing, invited Bryant to join his FR-Shelby Racing Team for the 11th Annual Phakisa 2-Hour Endurance Race in South Africa driving a Shelby Can Am prototype race car. He took 3rd place overall with a total of 60 laps completed.[19]

In October 2016, Bryant unveiled his newly acquired Shelby Mustang GT350R at the Caffeine and Octane car show in Atlanta alongside a new project called Bryant Group Motorsports Academy which he describes as: "a new nonprofit organization that will be focused on inspiring, exposing and empowering young people with what we call their 'Identity Project.' Once a young person from an underserved community figures out what their 'Identity Project' is, there is not much in life that can stop them.....We believe that motorsports, which is connected to financial literacy and STEM (and physics), can open the door to untold, untapped opportunity, and could inspire a re-imagination of self for a generation of young people." [20]

In February 2018, Bryant was invited to participate in an event with an amateur racing series, called American Endurance Racing (AER), at Road Atlanta, driving a spec E46 M3 BMW. During Bryant's session, as he was approaching the turn 7 complex, Bryant passed another driver on the inside as a corner worker displayed a waving yellow flag indicating there was an issue on track. Unfortunately, Bryant did not see this first flag and continued at race pace and missed an additional 25 flags/two laps of full course yellow, as well as passing a stationary emergency vehicle and safety workers on foot while he was traveling at greater than 95 mph. According to Bryant's testimony on the YouTube channel VINwiki, he was focused on driving and missed the flags unintentionally. After receiving a black flag and getting off track, AER elected to remove Bryant, and the rest of the team, from the race that day. After the release of Bryant's video on VINwiki, AER and Bryant both released statements in response to the incident taking full responsibility for his mistake and further explaining the situation, respectively.[21][22]


On June 13, 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush appointed Bryant to a four-year term on the non-partisan U.S. Community Development Advisory Board [23] for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

In September 2008, he was selected to be a member of the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum,[24] Geneva, Switzerland.

On January 29, 2010, he became a part of President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

Honors and awards[edit]

  • 1994: selected by Time Magazine as "One of America’s 50 Most Promising Leaders of the Future," as part of their 50 for the Future cover story.[25]
  • 1998, the first African-American to be knighted by German nobility and the royal House of Lippe.[26][27]
  • 2004 he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane Letters from Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, for his work around education and poverty eradication.
  • 2005, received the Crystal Heart Award from the University of Southern California School of Social Work for his work in community service.[28]
  • 2010, Latvian President Valdis Zatlers received Bryant on behalf of the Republic of Latvia as the second speaker for the Latvia Presidential Speaker Series at Latvia University, on the topic of "The Economic Reset, Love Leadership in a fear-based world, and financial literacy as a new civil right." [29]
  • 2010, Newsmax Magazine named him for his work at Operation HOPE, as one of their 2010 Heroes.[30]
  • 2011, The Root named him to its 2011 100 List of Influencers and Iconoclasts.
  • 2011, Operation HOPE and Bryant received the Marcus Garvey Bridge Builder in the Diaspora Award during the 16th Annual Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference in Jamaica.[31]
  • 2012, Leaders and Legends Award from the California Black Chamber of Commerce at their annual conference in Sacramento, California.
  • 2012, Working Group Advisor to CGI America for the Clinton Global Initiative and former U.S. President Bill Clinton
  • Bryant is the namesake of the "John Bryant Scholarship in Urban Social Development", a permanent scholarship fund at the University of Southern California School of Social Work.
  • Named 2016 Innovator of the Year by American Banker magazine
  • Inc.'s "The World's 10 Top CEO's" in 2016 (honorable mention)


  • The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation, Bryant, John Hope Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2017, ISBN 978-1-523-08456-2
  • How the Poor Can Save Capitalism Bryant, John Hope Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2014, ISBN 978-1-626-56032-1
  • Love Leadership:The New Way To Lead In A Fear-Based World Bryant, John Hope Jossey-Bass, 2009, ISBN 0-470-42878-3, ISBN 978-0-470-42878-8
  • Actions Speak Loudest: Keeping Our Promise For A Better World [32] McKinnon, Robert, Williams, Juan The Lyon Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-59921-486-3, ISBN 1-59921-486-5
  • Banking on our Future: a Program for Teaching You and your Kids about Money[33] by Bryant, Beacon Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-8070-4717-0
  • Silver Rights Movement Book Series
  • Dignity in the Middle East <
  • Fixing the Jericho Road: The Silver Rights Movement and the Good Samaritan [34]
  • Silver Rights Movement in Africa [35]
  • The Wealthless Power
  • The Ownership Society [36]
  • Racism and the Silver Rights Movement [37]
  • Banking on Our Future: The Promise for America’s Unbanked [38]
  • The Silver Rights Movement [39]
  • Leave No Community Behind[citation needed]

Further reading[edit]

  • "The New Color of Success: Twenty Young Black Millionaires Tell You How They're Making It", by Niki Butler Mitchell, Prima Lifestyles (December 15, 1999), ISBN 978-0-7615-2065-8
  • Face Forward: Young African American Men in a Critical Age, by Julian C.R. Okwu, Chronicle Books (March 1, 1997), ISBN 978-0-8118-1631-1


  1. ^ "Operation HOPE, inc". Archived from the original on 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  2. ^ Michael Barr. "President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability". Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  3. ^
  4. ^ U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy Archived December 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Kramer, Katie. "From poverty to prosperity: How to bring back the US middle class". cnbc. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  6. ^ Kadlec, Dan. "How We Can Fix the Economy and Save Capitalism". time. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  7. ^ "John Hope Bryant Says Middle-Class Folks Don't Riot, Poverty Incites Social Unrest". newsone. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  8. ^ "CHQ Daily". CHQ Daily. CHQ Daily. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Operation HOPE founded on May 5, 1992". 1992-04-29. Archived from the original on October 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  10. ^ "Bankers Bus Tour". LA Times. LA Times. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  11. ^ SEC. SEC Retrieved 22 May 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Bryant Blog". John Hope Bryant Blog. John Hope Bryant. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  13. ^ "WDCEP". WDCEP. WDCEP. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  14. ^ "President Bush creates financial literacy advisory council | Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  15. ^ "The President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability". The White House. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  16. ^ "JHB" Check |url= value (help). JHB Blog. John Hope Bryant. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  17. ^ "JHB on VINwiki". YouTube. VINwiki. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  18. ^ "JHB". YouTube. John Hope Bryant. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Bryant Racing Blog". Bryant Racing Blog. John Hope Bryant. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  20. ^ "John Hope Bryant Blog". John Hope Bryant. John Hope Bryant. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  21. ^ "AER Response" (PDF). AER. AER. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Bryant Response". Bryant Group Motorsports Facebook. Bryant Group Motorsports Facebook.
  23. ^ "U.S. Community development Advisory Board". Archived from the original on 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  24. ^ Global Agenda Council Archived February 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "50 Leaders for America's Future Dec. 5, 1994". Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  26. ^ "John Hope Bryant knighted by Germany nobility and the royal House of Lippe in 1998". Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  27. ^ "Biography". thehistorymakers. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  28. ^ "Heartfelt Tribute Honors Community, Academic Leaders". sowkweb. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  29. ^ "John Bryant, American Philanthropist and Businessman, to Speak at President's Lecture Series". Latvijaj Universitate. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  30. ^ "Business Book Authors". actionablebooks. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  31. ^ "Martin Luther King Jr said inspired by Jamaica". jamaicaobserver. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  32. ^ "Keeping Our Promise For A Better World". Actions Speak Loudest. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  33. ^ Bryant, John (2002). Banking on Our Future: A Program for Teaching You and Your Kids about Money. Beacon Press, 2002. ISBN 9780807047170.
  34. ^ "Fixing the Jericho Road". Huffingtonpost. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  35. ^ Johnson, Marquis. "JOHN HOPE BRYANT: THE MAN FIGHTING FOR OUR "SILVER RIGHTS"". empowermagazine. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  36. ^ "The Ownership Society". 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  37. ^ "From the Lecturer: Bringing Silver Rights to the Underserved". chqdaily. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  38. ^ "Banking on Our Future: The Promise for America's Unbanked". Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  39. ^ "John Hope Bryant on silver rights movement". Global Envision. Retrieved 7 November 2015.

External links[edit]