A Pioneer Passed Away. A Work Ethic Passed Along.

I first heard of Mr. Llewellyn in the late eighties through my mom.

At that time, she handled government and public relations for the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

I recall being impressed not only by the fact that a Black man was the owner of major beverage bottler, but also by the fact that, during this period, the company was touted as being the fourth largest Black-owned business in the country.

Over time, I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Llewellyn speak publicly. One of the many things that he would often speak of is the work ethic his father passed along.

It struck a chord with me then and continues to resonate and have a place in the manner in which I approach my own career and work ethic.

I was saddened to learn that this great Black pioneer and trailblazer had passed away, but pleased that his obituary in the New York Times made mention of what impressed me about J. Bruce Llewellyn many years ago.


“Throughout his life, Mr. Llewellyn repeated his father’s dictum that blacks must work twice as hard as whites to achieve half as much.”

click here to read the full obituary.

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