Autograph of (Jerome) “Brud” Holland – All-American, College President and Diplomat.
Lot 259. Autograph of (Jerome) “Brud” Holland – All-American, College President and Diplomat. Holland, who grew up in a poor, hard-working black family in New York, chose not to be a victim and found a way to become an All-American success. According to one biography, “As early as age eight, young Jerome worked with his gardener/handyman father, and learned very early on that close attention to his school work would be the only way he could avoid continuing such menial work into his adulthood.” The short version of Holland’s story is that he enrolled at Cornell where, according to a newspaper account, he slept on a cot in a boiler room and worked as a waiter to help pay his tuition. He also integrated formerly segregated Cornell football. In both 1937 and 1938, he was an All-American end. After graduation, he might have played pro football - except that the NFL was segregated and remained so until after World War II. Fortunately, Holland was an excellent student, and he subsequently earned a Master of Science degree and a Ph.D. in sociology. His education and capabilities led to his serving as president of Delaware State College and, later, Hampton Institute. He was the first African-American to join the board of the New York Stock Exchange; in 1972, he became its Director. He was the first African-American appointed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology's governing body and the first to head the American Red Cross, a position he held from 1979 until his death in 1985. He also served for more than two years as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Holland is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. His signature is at the end of a 1958 handwritten note on a half-page of Delaware State College stationery. In the note, Holland responds to a letter that apparently requested an autograph and a photo. He signed as “Brud” Holland. His siblings called him “Brudder,” and he eventually became known as “Brud.” The autograph is mint 9. Winning Bid $50.