John Hope Bryant

  • "There is a difference between broke and being poor. Being broke is a temporary economic condition, but being poor is a disabling frame of mind and a depressed condition of your spirit, and you must vow to never, ever be poor again."
  • My vision for the poor, the under-served, and the wealthless of the world is to help them see themselves -- differently. We can do this by helping to expose, to educate, to empower, and ultimately to inspire them. To help them become "dreamers, with shovels in their own hands," quoting my friend Dr. Dorothy Height.
  • To see themselves for what and who they truly already are; rich in spirit. Assets, and not liabilities on the world's global balance sheet.
  • Because, I have seen, time and again, that given an informed choice, the poor do not want a hand out, but simply a hand up. They want the dignity that comes from doing for self.
  • That education is the ultimate poverty eradication tool, and when you know better, you tend to do better.
  • Moving from civil rights to silver rights. From integrating the lunch counter, to integrating the dollar too.
  • That low-wealth communities, the world over, represent future emerging markets waiting to be born. That one person can make a diference, and we are that one person. That we are all accountable and responsible for the world we live in, because it is literally the world we create. A little hope can make the difference.  

One-Line Bio

An entrepreneur that founded a group of for profit companies and non-profit organizations focusing on “doing well” and “doing good” in the world.


Author of Inc. Magazine-CEOREAD business bestseller LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), Mr. Bryant is the only African-American bestselling business author in America today. A member of the founding class of the Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, an Oprah’s Angel Network award recipient, a TIME Magazine 50 (Leaders) for the Future (94′), John Hope Bryant is a social entrepreneur and businessman, the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents and recognized by the last 5 U.S. presidents. Bryant is a noted thought leader, author, public speaker, and an innovator in the business of empowerment, writing regularly for the Huffington Post. Mr. Bryant serves U.S. President Barack Obama as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. Prior to that Mr. Bryant served U.S. President George W. Bush as vice chairman of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Council, and chairman of the Council Committee on the Underserved. For President Obama, Mr. Bryant focuses primarily on the establishment of local financial literacy councils for cities, counties and states. Raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles, California and homeless for 6-months of his life by age 18, John Hope Bryant has traveled throughout North and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe tirelessly promoting the virtues of hope, self-esteem, love leadership, dignity, empowerment and opportunity for the under-served. Operation HOPE, America’s first non-profit social investment banking organization founded immediately following the Rodney King Riots of 1992 in South Central Los Angeles, now operates in more than 270 U.S. communities and South Africa, having served more than 1.5 million individuals, has more than 18,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, more than 5,000 partners from government, community (including faith) and the private sector, has raised more than $600 million and helped to restructure another $450 million in subprime mortgages to empower the poor, for a total of approximately $1 billion in economic activity for the under-served. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton described Mr. Bryant in his recent bestselling book GIVING saying, “John Bryant is a 41 year-old whirlwind of ideas and action. Lean, intense, focused, and completely positive in his belief in the potential of poor people to prosper, with ‘a hand up and not a hand out.” A national community leader cited by the past five sitting U.S. presidents for his work to empower low-wealth communities across America, John Hope Bryant is one of the most authoritative and compelling advocates for poverty eradication in America today. In business, Bryant leads Bryant Group Company, and serves on the corporate board of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (ACRE), an NYSE Euronext publicly traded company, and a division of $54 billion private equity firm Ares Capital Management. Bryant also serves on the NYSE Euronext Financial Literacy Advisory Committee, and the advisory board for the Gallup Government Leadership Academy and the Kaplan University Business School. Bryant is a former UN goodwill ambassador to the U.S., a partner with former U.S. President Clinton and his foundation teaching financial literacy, and working with HOPE global spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young, is bridging civil rights to silver rights. Mr. Bryant is author of LOVE LEADERSHIP, a 2010 top 10-U.S. business bestseller, and BANKING ON OUR FUTURE, a book on youth and family financial literacy. John Hope Bryant has received more than 500 awards and citations for his work to empower low-wealth communities including the Use Your Life Award by Oprah Winfrey, and named a “Community Hero” by People Magazine on the 10th anniversary of the worst urban civil unrest in U.S. history. In December, 1994, Mr. Bryant was selected by TIME Magazine for their “America’s 50 Most Promisi ng Leaders of the Future” cover story. In 2010, Mr. Bryant received the Andrew Goodman Hidden Heroes Award, in honor of slain civil rights leader Andrew Goodwin. In early 2008, Bryant’s silver rights advocacy and the work of Operation HOPE directly inspired then President Bush to make financial literacy the official policy of the U.S. federal government for the first time in U.S. history. Bryant’s initial President’s Council leadership resulted in the creation of the U.S. SBA Office of Entrepreneurship Education, a landmark U.S. Treasury Department issued report on the future of financial literacy and responsible sub-prime lending, and even inspired national financial literacy legislative bills, including a companion bill from U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). On February 1st, 2009, in the backdrop of the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression, Mr. Bryant was chosen to speak at the closing session for the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, joining Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Tutu, as well as fellow Global Dignity co-founders HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland, on the subject of “dignity for all.” Today Operation HOPE is building a historic HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer Church, inside the historic King Center complex, in honor of Martin Luther King, Sr. (Daddy King). The HOPE Center, Ebenezer is a private-public partnership led by members of the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE, and represents the first time in 44 years that an outside nonprofit organization has been invited on the honored grounds of the King Center complex. Mr. Bryant has received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters from Paul Quinn College of Dallas, Texas, and in April 2008, Bryant completed the Harvard University John K. Kennedy School of Government, Global Public Policy and Leadership for the 21st Century Program as a Young Global Leaders. Mr. Bryant has received the National Community Service Award from both Spelman College and Livingstone College, and in 2011, Bryant received the CUNY/Queens College President’s Award, their highest honor. The USC School of Social Work annually awards a USC John Bryant Scholarship to a deserving student. Mr. Bryant is co-founder of Global Dignity, a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative, is the founding curator of the Forum of Global Shapers, Atlanta Hub (an organ of the World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland), a member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and an active member of Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia. John Hope Bryant was born on February 6, 1966, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California, and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.


Taekwondo, roller blading, reading, writing, cycling, motorcycle riding, auto racing

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