A Lifelong Businessman: Mack Hannah Jr.

By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, Ed.D.

Mack Henry Hannah Jr. was born into an enterprising family on February 8, 1904, and grew up in Brenham, TX.  His father was known as “Daddy Mack,” and was involved in many business ventures like saloons, a barbershop, a drug store, poolhalls, and a restaurant. In 1920, his family opened the Hannah Funeral Home in Port Arthur, TX, which is still operational today.

Hannah graduated from Lincoln High School in 1922 and graduated from Bishop College in 1927. Even during his younger days, he made his mark on history by becoming the first All-American football player. He then returned to Lincoln High School where he taught physical education, and served as a coach for a short time. He later became the first black salesman to work at the Orange Casket Company.

It was during World War II when Hannah became employed by America’s first synthetic rubber plant, built in Port Neches. He oversaw food concession, housing, and took care of over 6,000 workers. After that venture, he moved to Houston, and started other business ventures. He was president of the Mack H. Hannah Life Insurance Company, was the founder of the Gulf Western Mortgage Company, and the Standard Savings and Loan Association, and was the director of the Homestead Bank. He also operated the Hannah Funeral Home. These business ventures made him a millionaire and one of the wealthiest black in Texas. To add to his success, he was a trustee of Bishop College for over 31 years, and held the office of Regent of University of Houston and Texas Southern University.

As a Democrat, he heavily encouraged black voters in Jefferson County, and helped state leaders Allan Shivers, and Lyndon Baines win votes for their elections. He married the love of his life, Reba Othelene Hicks in 1927, and in this union, they had three children.

Over the years, Hannah was appointed to prestigious positions, and received many honors. In 1940, he was appointed as Consul to the Republic of Liberia in 1940 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He held that position for over 42 years. He then attended the Subregional Meeting on Economic cooperation in Niamey, Nigeria, and was President Johnson’s personal representative. Hannah was awarded the honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Bishop College in 1968 and received the honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree in 1974 from Texas Southern University. He was also appointed to the White House Conference on Youth and Children to serve as a member.

Mack Hannah Jr. died on April 2, 1994. It was his determination, and his desire for success that made him into the successful businessman that he was.

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top