Dr. Robert E. Weems Jr.

Robert Weems

Title: Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History
Company: Wichita State University
Location: Wichita, Kansas, United States

Robert Weems, Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in history education.

In preparation for his career, Dr. Weems attended Western Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1973. He obtained a Master of Arts in Afro-American Studies from Boston University in 1975 and served as an instructor of history at Middlesex Community College in Boston. From 1977 to 1983, Dr. Weems worked as a history teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools, during which he received an additional Master of Arts in history from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1982. In 1987, he concluded his academic pursuits at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earning a PhD in history.

Following his graduate education, Dr. Weems started as a visiting assistant professor of history and African American studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, a post he held from 1988 to 1990. He subsequently accepted a position at the University of Missouri-Columbia, also known as Mizzou, where he worked as an assistant professor and an associate professor of history before rising to the rank of a full professor of history in 1999. Dr. Weems continued to serve this esteemed institution as a professor until 2011, additionally contributing as an interim associate vice chancellor for equity. Currently, he shares his expertise as the Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University.

Dr. Weems has found notable success through his written work. He is the author of the following books: Black Business in the Black Metropolis: The Chicago Metropolitan Assurance Company, 1925-1985 (1996); Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the Twentieth Century (1998); Business in Black and White: American Presidents and Black Entrepreneurs in the Twentieth Century  (2009); Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago  (2017) and the forthcoming The Merchant Prince of Black Chicago: Anthony Overton and the Building of a Financial Empire (2020). In addition, Dr. Weems was a historical adviser to and appeared in the PBS documentary Boss: The African American Experience in Business in 2019.

Dr. Weems cites the noted black political scientist Dr. Charles V. Hamilton, as well as Dr. Arvarh Strickland, the first full-time African American faculty member at the University of Missouri, as mentors and professional inspirations. He has maintained affiliation with numerous professional associations including: the Association for the Study of African American Life and History; the Business History Conference and the Organization of American Historians. As a further testament to his success and stature, Dr. Weems has been selected for inclusion in the 58th edition of Who’s Who in America.

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