His is not a name well known in the Midwest, but if you closely followed the historical changes that took place with minority set asides back in the 60’s and 70’s you might know of him. Your Commander had two encounters with Bruce; they were both memorable and he was a dynamic man.
To say that Bruce was a remarkable individual is an understatement, because he rose from humble beginnings in East Harlem to become one of the most influential businessmen in the country. He knew how to take advantage of the minority set asides, and he possessed a true entrepreneurial spirit with the will to risk for reward.
Llewellyn’s obituary in the New York Times (4/10/10) jarred my memory to recall the two times our lives passed. One was at a broadcasting convention in Las Vegas in the mid 80’s when he and partners had recently purchased a Buffalo NY television station by taking advantage of a government minority tax credit benefit for sellers to minority owned companies.
The second time I encountered Llewellyn was in the Halls of Congress in about 1992 when we both met with a Congressman in his office while I was a lobbyist for NBC affiliated television stations. Bruce was doing the same, but for his personal business interests.
Bruce was a true opportunist and he blazed a trail for many minority business people in gaining great success and recognition when many minorities found it difficult to seek an avenue to succeed. He often made the point that political and social power grew out of economic power. “Minorities have to understand that the world revolves around the golden rule,” he wrote in Fortune magazine in 1990. “Those who have the gold, rule.”