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The Merchant Prince of Black ChicagoAnthony Overton and the Building of a Financial Empire$
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Robert E. Weems

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043062

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043062.001.0001

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Anthony Overton’s Early Life

Anthony Overton’s Early Life

Myth versus Reality

(p.11) 1. Anthony Overton’s Early Life
The Merchant Prince of Black Chicago

Robert E. Weems Jr.

University of Illinois Press

Determining the contours of Anthony Overton’s early life, especially between his sixteenth and thirty-first birthdays, has been complicated by a long-standing dissemination of misinformation. This chapter discusses how much of the literature (including encyclopedia entries, book chapters, newspaper articles, and obituaries) portrays him as someone who experienced success in a wide variety of areas. However, a fact check of Overton’s early life reveals that he experienced considerable failure and disappointment. The evidence suggests that Overton, later in life, created many of the long-standing myths regarding his formative years. Also, it is clear that the young Overton ultimately benefited from his exposure to two mentors: his father Anthony Overton Sr. and Booker T. Washington.

Keywords:   Anthony Overton, early life, myth, misinformation, reality, Anthony Overton Sr., Booker T. Washington

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