From errand boy to business mogul: The inspiring story of Michael Victor Roberts Snr.

Stephen Nartey May 01, 2023
Michael Victor Roberts, Sr /Photo credit: Ghanaweb

Michael Victor Roberts’ love for business started at a young age when he was often seen running errands for neighbors and delivering newspapers to make some money. He started his first business trading dashikis and other African merchandise to the bookstores in his locality. With that experience up his sleeves, he established Roberts Broadcasting in 1981.

From that office, he partnered with his brother, Steven Roberts, to build an empire comprising 76 companies that employed 1,100 staff, according to CNN. His business holdings, ranging from hotels to television stations are estimated at $ 1 billion.

This success was the outcome of his hard work and the desire to be part of the American dream. After Michael established WRBU-TV, he made sure he expanded his broadcasting networks from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Mobile, Alabama. While on this drive to be a media mogul, Michael also set his eyes on the real estate sector. In 1989, with his brother by his side, they established the Roberts Construction Company.

It complemented the commercial and residential developments they formed in 1982 as Roberts Brothers Properties, according to history makers. In 1999, they diversified their business interests, opening the first Sprint PCS-affiliated wireless store in Jefferson City, Missouri – which was wholly black-owned.

In the chain of command, Michael plays the role of chairman of the board, while his brother, Steven, serves as president. Michael was born on October 24, 1948, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Delores Talley Roberts and Victor Roberts; the first of four siblings. He received his formal education in the St. Louis Public School System – he completed Northwest High School in 1967 and continued at Missouri State University as well as Forest Park Community College.

He also pursued legal education at the St. Louis University School of Law. After graduating in 1974, he opened the law firm, Roberts-Roberts and Associates. Michael drew a lot of inspiration from St. Louis’ Dick Gregory, who spoke about the civil rights movement.

He also ventured into politics with the hope of bettering the lot of the black community. In 1976, he joined the Jimmy Carter caravan as the campaign manager in St. Louis, and became a regular guest at the White House when Jimmy Carter became U.S. President. A year later, he was elected as the youngest alderman in St. Louis, and was actively involved in the redevelopment efforts for the city of St. Louis.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: May 1, 2023


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