John Hope Bryant

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John Hope Bryant

John Hope Bryant (born February 6, 1966) is an American financial literacy entrepreneur and businessman. Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of nonprofit Operation HOPE,[1] member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability,[2][3] co-founder of Global Dignity, co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, bestselling author on economics and leadership, advisor to business and government, entrepreneur, businessman, thought leader, philanthropist, global citizen and art collector.[4] He is a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders for the World Economic Forum,[5] and a place on the Forum’s Global Agenda Council[6] He served as the vice chair on the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy[7] and as the chairman of the Committee on the Underserved.[8][9][10]


Early years[edit]

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.


On May 5, 1992, Bryant founded Operation HOPE, Inc.[11] immediately following the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California.

In 2004 he was nominated by the World Economic Forum to serve as one of the 237 Young Global Leaders who work to model a better world by 2030.[12]

On January 22, 2008, Bryant was appointed vice-chairman of the President’s Council on Financial Literacy by U.S. President George W. Bush. On May 8, 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.

Bryant continued this work under President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability (PACFC). President Obama signed Executive Order 13530 on January 29, 2010, creating the Council to assist the American people in understanding financial matters and making informed financial decisions, and thereby contribute to financial stability.[13] He was appointed chairman of the new Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the PACFC in January 2012.

Honors and awards[edit]

  • On December 5, 1994, Bryant was 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.[14]
  • In 1998, Bryant became the first African-American to be knighted by German nobility and the royal House of Lippe.[15][16]
  • On February 8, 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.” [18]
  • In December 2010, Newsmax Magazine named Bryant, for his work at Operation HOPE, as one of their 2010 Heroes.[19]
  • On October 7, 2011, The Root named Bryant to its 2011 100 List of Influencers and Iconoclasts.
  • On November 5, 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.[20]
  • On March 31, 2012, Bryant received the Leaders and Legends Award from the California Black Chamber of Commerce at their annual conference in Sacramento, California.
  • In April 2012, Bryant was appointed as a Working Group Advisor to CGI America for the Clinton Global Initiative and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Honorable mentions[edit]

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton described Mr. Bryant in his 2010 book Giving[21] saying, “John Bryant is a 41 year-old whirlwind of ideas and action. Lean, intense, focused, and completely positive in his belief in the potential of poor people to prosper, with ‘a hand up and not a hand out.’”


  • In September 2008, Bryant was selected to be a member of the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum,[23] Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 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.


  • Silver Rights Movement Book Series
    • Dignity in the Middle East <
    • Fixing the Jericho Road: The Silver Rights Movement and the Good Samaritan [26]
    • Silver Rights Movement in Africa [27]
    • The Wealthless Power
    • The Ownership Society [28]
    • Racism and the Silver Rights Movement [29]
    • Banking on Our Future: The Promise for America’s Unbanked [30]
    • The Silver Rights Movement [31]
    • Leave No Community Behind [32]


  1. ^ "Operation HOPE, inc". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  2. ^ Michael Barr. "President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Global Dignity". Global Dignity. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  5. ^ World Econmic Forum[dead link]
  6. ^ Forum’s Global Agenda[dead link]
  7. ^ U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy[dead link]
  8. ^ Kramer, Katie. "From poverty to prosperity: How to bring back the US middle class". cnbc. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Kadlec, Dan. "How We Can Fix the Economy and Save Capitalism". time. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  10. ^ "John Hope Bryant Says Middle-Class Folks Don’t Riot, Poverty Incites Social Unrest". newsone. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  11. ^ "Operation HOPE founded on May 5, 1992". 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  12. ^ "John Bryant Selected as one of 237 Leaders". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  13. ^ "The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability". The White House. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "50 Leaders for America's Future Dec. 5, 1994". Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "John Hope Bryant knighted by Germany nobility and the royal House of Lippe in 1998". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  16. ^ "Biography". thehistorymakers. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "Heartfelt Tribute Honors Community, Academic Leaders". sowkweb. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "John Bryant, American Philanthropist and Businessman, to Speak at President’s Lecture Series". Latvijaj Universitate. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Business Book Authors". actionablebooks. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  20. ^ "Martin Luther King Jr said inspired by Jamaica". jamaicaobserver. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  21. ^ "Giving by Bill Clinton". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  22. ^ "U.S. Community development Advisory Board". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  23. ^ Global Agenda Council[dead link]
  24. ^ "Keeping Our Promise For A Better World". Actions Speak Loudest. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  25. ^ Bryant, John. Banking on Our Future: A Program for Teaching You and Your Kids about Money. Beacon Press, 2002. ISBN 9780807047170. 
  26. ^ "Fixing the Jericho Road". Huffingtonpost. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  27. ^ Johnson, Marquis. "JOHN HOPE BRYANT: THE MAN FIGHTING FOR OUR “SILVER RIGHTS”". empowermagazine. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  28. ^ "The Ownership Society". 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  29. ^ "From the Lecturer: Bringing Silver Rights to the Underserved". chqdaily. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  30. ^ "Banking on Our Future: The Promise for America’s Unbanked". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  31. ^ "John Hope Bryant on silver rights movement". Global Envision. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  32. ^ "John Hope Bryant". worldlibrary. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 

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

External links[edit]