Berkeley Haas

Diversity at Haas


Ivan Houston

Ivan Houston
BS 48

Author, Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of WWII
Retired CEO, Golden State Mutual Life Insurance
Los Angeles

Before retiring as Chairman for Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1990, Ivan Houston led the company to achieve $5 billion in insurance business across 22 states. He joined the company in 1948 as an accountant, held several executive positions, and became President and CEO in 1970. He served on the boards of many prominent companies and was the first African American director for First Interstate Bank (now Wells Fargo), Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, Metromedia, Pacific Indemnity, and Pacific Telesis Group (now AT&T). He was named one of Harvard Business School's American Business Leaders of the 20th Century and was included on Ebony Magazine's "100 Most Influential Black Americans" for 14 consecutive years. A decorated World War II veteran, Houston recently had his first book published, Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II, about his experience as a member of WWII's first Black combat infantry unit in the 92nd Infantry Division. He became a member of the Haas Hall of Fame in 2009.

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