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Randolph was born April 15, 1889 in Crescent City, Florida, the second son of the Rev. James William Randolph, a tailor and ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Elizabeth Robinson Randolph, a skilled seamstress. In 1891 the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, which had a thriving, well-established African American community. From his father, Randolph learned that color was less important than a person's character and conduct. From his mother, he learned the importance of education and of defending oneself physically, if necessary. Randolph remembered vividly the night his mother sat in the front room of their house with a loaded shotgun across her lap, while his father tucked a pistol under his coat and went off to prevent a mob from lynching a man in the local county jail.Asa and his brother, James, were superior students. They attended the Cookman Institute in East Jacksonville, for years the only academic high school for African Americans in Florida. Asa excelled in literature, drama and public speaking; he also starred on the school's baseball team, sang solos with its choir and was valedictorian of the 1907 graduating class.After graduation, Randolph worked odd jobs and devoted his time to singing, acting and reading. W. E. B. Du Bois'The Souls of Black Folk convinced him that the fight for social equality was more important than almost anything else. He moved to New York City in 1911 to become an actor but gave up after failing to win his parents' approval. Columbia University student Chandler Owen shared Randolph's intellectual interests and became his close collaborator.In 1914 Randolph courted and married Mrs. Lucille E. Green, a widow, Howard Universitygraduate and entrepreneur who shared his socialist politics and earned enough money to support them both. The couple had no children. Randolph has recivied numerous awards such as,The A. Philip Randolph Institute is named in his honor. On September 14, 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson presented Randolph with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed A. Philip Randolph on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A. Philip Randolph. 2008. 24 Feb. 2009 <>.

Butler, Dominique, ed. The Asa Philip Randolph Story . n.d. 24 Feb. 2009 <