Remembering Don Barden, the passing of a visionary African American mogul

(WXYZ) - Funeral services were held Friday morning for business mogul Don Barden. He influenced many lives in Detroit and across the country. His legacy is the quintessential – rags to riches – American success story.

Barden died Thursday, May 19 at age 67 after a courageous battle with lung cancer.

Funeral services began at 11:00 a.m. at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit on West 7 Mile Road. An Internment ceremony was to follow the funeral service at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

Don H. Barden was a college dropout who began his entrepreneurial quest with a $500 record store and ended up years later with a Black Enterprise Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award. It was the perfect honor for a man whose business earned $385 million in revenues last year.

Barden was also the first African American owner of a major cable franchise and the first Black casino owner in Las Vegas. The native of Inkster had come along way since growing up poor as number nine of 13 children.

Those of us who had the pleasure of interacting with him knew he was smart, shrewd, feisty, colorful and philanthropic. He probably gave away far more than he ever received.

He was a proud capitalist who strongly believed in Black empowerment. His business career is solid proof that hard work and shear determination can overcome the greatest of odds. The media should report Don H. Barden's amazing story this week with the respect and depth it deserves.

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