Little Known Black History Fact: Cheryl Boone Isaacs

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On this day in 2013, longtime film marketing and public relations executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected as the 35th president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is the first Black person to hold the post and just the third woman to do so.

 

Isaacs was born in 1949 and raised in Springfield, Mass. She attended Whittier College in California, graduating with a degree in political science in 1971. Isaacs later moved to Hollywood to join her brother, who was working there as an executive. She swiftly rose in the ranks of film marketing and promotions, working with large studios such as Paramount Pictures, New Line Cinema, and Columbia Pictures among others.

 

Since 1987, Isaacs has been a member of the Academy and has served on its board for over 25 years. Her election to lead the Academy ushered in a needed change, and immediately she began promoting diversity and inclusion at the Oscar-voting level across all the various categories for the vaunted awards ceremony. Isaacs decided last year not to seek reelection as the Academy’s president, but did urge that the group should continue to seek out diverse leadership.

 

Earlier this year, Icon Mann honored Isaacs with its Legacy Award given to those individuals who help propel Black culture. Academy Award winner Halle Berry, Kobe Bryant, Quincy Jones and many others praised Isaacs for her work at the Academy. She still works in and around Hollywood, serving on the board of Cast & Crew, an entertainment payroll company.

 

With her election as president, cheryl boone isaacs promoted diversity and inclusion as it relates to oscar voting across the categories for the awards ceremony. She stepped down last year but still works in the business as part of cast & crew, an entertainment payroll company as a board member.

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