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Jerome H. Holland (January 9, 1916 – January 13, 1985) was an educational administrator and diplomat.

Jerome "Brud" Holland
Date of birth: January 9, 1916
Place of birth: Auburn, New York
Date of death: January 13, 1985 (aged 69)
Place of death: New York, New York
Career information
Position(s): End
College: Cornell University
College Football Hall of Fame

Jerome Heartwell ("Brud") Holland grew up in Auburn, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1939, after being the first African American to play on its football team. Although he was an accomplished football player, the National Football League was racially segregated at that time, and he remained at Cornell. Brud was elected to the Sphinx Head Society during his last year at Cornell. He received a master’s degree in sociology two years later. After teaching sociology and physical education at Lincoln University, he received his Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. Holland served as President of Delaware State College, from 1953 to 1959 and of the Hampton Institute from 1960 to 1970.

He also wrote a number of economic and sociological studies of African Americans including Black Opportunity 1969. President Nixon appointed him ambassador to Sweden in 1970, and he served for two years. Holland was also a board member of nine major United States companies including AT&T and General Motors. In 1972, Holland became the first African American to sit on the board of the New York Stock Exchange, a position he held until 1980.[1] He became a member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1965. In 1972, the NCAA awarded Holland its Theodore Roosevelt Award.[2]

From 1970 to 1972, Holland served as United States Ambassador to Sweden.

He served on Cornell's Board of Trustees, and a dormitory was named in his honor. In 1987, the Jerome Holland scholarship program was established in his honor at the University of Virginia to assist between 4 and 8 African American students each year.[3]

Holland served as Chairman of the American Red Cross Board of Governors from 1980 to 1985 and its blood laboratory is named in his honor.[4]

Holland is a member of The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.

A high school football stadium in Auburn is named after him.

On May 23, 1985, Jerome Holland was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.

Holland is buried in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York.[5]


  1. ^ Retrieved 2007-09-08.
  2. ^ Retrieved 2007-09-08.
  3. ^ Retrieved 2007-09-08.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2007-09-08.
  5. ^ Retrieved 2007-09-08.


Preceded by
None, tense diplomatic relations
U.S. Ambassador to Sweden
Succeeded by
None, tense diplomatic relations


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