THE YOUNGER OF TWO SONS, TOM GREW UP IN A CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY IN TUSKEGEE, ALABAMA. Upon earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Tuskegee Institute in 1970, Tom immediately began his radio career at WRMA-AM in Montgomery, Alabama.
In the mid-1980s, Tom was offered a morning drive time position at KKDA in Dallas and an afternoon spot at WGCI in Chicago. His visionary plan was to fly thousands of miles every day (Monday-Friday) between Dallas and Chicago. Because of his long hours and vast amount of time spent in the air, Tom received the affectionate nicknames “The Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio”. Tom continued this insane (to most) commute for eight years.
In 1994, Tom convinced entertainment powerhouse ABC Radio Networks to successfully launch The Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) into national syndication. Because of its reach and vast, responsive audience, the TJMS became a hot spot for celebs, companies and national leaders/politicians hoping to connect with the community.
Tom’s broadcast was extended through a digital app, leading lifestyle website BlackAmericaweb.com and popular consumer events. The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise and Tom Joyner Family Reunion attract thousands from around the country annually.
Well-known for his dedicated philanthropy and community activism, Tom has led national, successful awareness campaigns on voter registration laws, family/health initiatives, and minority discrimination. Joyner created The Tom Joyner Foundation to help keep students in historically-Black colleges and universities. Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than $60 million.
Throughout his distinguished career, Tom received numerous accolades and awards including a Radio Hall of Fame award, NAACP Image Award, Impact Magazine‘s “Joe Loris Award” for Excellence in Broadcasting and Billboard‘s “Best Urban Contemporary Air Personality” award. Impact Magazine‘s “Best DJ of the Year Award” was complimentarily renamed “The Tom Joyner Award”. Tom is a recipient of the BET Humanitarian Award, Denny’s Community Impact Award and was recognized by the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture; as well as awarded the Septima P. Clark Excellence in Black Education Award
In addition, Joyner has an honorary degree from every HBCU in the continental U.S. and U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of the former nationally-syndicated radio personality, Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments, and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 20+ year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, over $69 million has been raised to support more than 32,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students.
The Tom Joyner Foundation and BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, are partnering to offer an Executive Series to HBCUs nationwide beginning this fall. The partnership will offer HBCU students the opportunity to network with BetMGM executives and navigate the
recruitment process in preparation for career opportunities at the company after graduation.
“Our goal has been to keep students in school, and it is critical that we ensure their success after graduation through phenomenal partnerships with organizations such as BetMGM,” said Joyner. The Executive Series will consist of executive-student panels, professional resume critiques, and job interview preparation. The workshops will help graduating seniors pursue roles successfully in HR, Finance, Legal, Marketing, Product Design, and more.
HBCU students can find more information and RSVP for the Executive Series on The Tom Joyner Foundation website starting this fall.