Mack Henry Hannah, Jr.
In 1958, Mack Henry Hannah Jr. (1904-1994), a self-made business genius and probably once the wealthiest black in Texas, opened the first black-owned Savings and Loan in Texas at the northwest corner of Dowling Street (now Emancipation Blvd) and Wheeler, one of his many business successes. His business sign can still be seen there on the original building. Other businesses included real estate development, church construction, a funeral home and shrimping. He was widely involved in civic organizations and the NAACP. He graduated from Bishop College in 1927 where he won All-American honors as a football player. He began his business career as a casket salesman and eventually bought the company in 1937. He was one of the earliest financial supporters for the political careers of both Barbara Jordan and Lyndon Johnson. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Texas Southern University, where he led construction of much of the physical plant. Hannah Hall, which is full of interesting murals, is named in his honor.