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, He is an advisor to business and government and author of bestselling books on economics and leadership. He served as 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 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.[8] immediately following the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California.

On January 22, 2008, Bryant was appointed vice-chairman of the President’s Council on Financial Literacy by U.S. President George W. Bush. He continued this work under President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability (PACFC).[9] He was appointed chairman of the new Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the PACFC in January 2012.


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 [10] 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,[11] 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.[12]
  • 1998, the first African-American to be knighted by German nobility and the royal House of Lippe.[13][14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 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." [16]
  • 2010, Newsmax Magazine named him for his work at Operation HOPE, as one of their 2010 Heroes.[17]
  • 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.[18]
  • 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.



  1. ^ "Operation HOPE, inc". 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. ^ "Operation HOPE founded on May 5, 1992". 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  9. ^ "The President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability". The White House. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Community development Advisory Board". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  11. ^ Global Agenda Council Archived February 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "50 Leaders for America's Future Dec. 5, 1994". Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "John Hope Bryant knighted by Germany nobility and the royal House of Lippe in 1998". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  14. ^ "Biography". thehistorymakers. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "Heartfelt Tribute Honors Community, Academic Leaders". sowkweb. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "John Bryant, American Philanthropist and Businessman, to Speak at President's Lecture Series". Latvijaj Universitate. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "Business Book Authors". actionablebooks. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "Martin Luther King Jr said inspired by Jamaica". jamaicaobserver. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Keeping Our Promise For A Better World". Actions Speak Loudest. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  20. ^ Bryant, John. Banking on Our Future: A Program for Teaching You and Your Kids about Money. Beacon Press, 2002. ISBN 9780807047170. 
  21. ^ "Fixing the Jericho Road". Huffingtonpost. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  22. ^ Johnson, Marquis. "JOHN HOPE BRYANT: THE MAN FIGHTING FOR OUR "SILVER RIGHTS"". empowermagazine. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  23. ^ "The Ownership Society". 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  24. ^ "From the Lecturer: Bringing Silver Rights to the Underserved". chqdaily. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  25. ^ "Banking on Our Future: The Promise for America's Unbanked". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  26. ^ "John Hope Bryant on silver rights movement". Global Envision. 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]