Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., an elder statesman of Maryland's African-American business community, died at Union Memorial hospital Monday, May 24th, 2010. He was 90 years young.

Mr. Haysbert, most notably was the chief executive officer of the Parks Sausage Co., one of the largest black-owned, publically traded businesses on the stock exchange in the country. He was a  founder and longtime chairman of the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Urban League in Baltimore and the recipient of hundreds of awards, citations and acknowledgements for his contributions to Marylanders.Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. in front of Parks Sausage

Mr. Haysbert  moved to Baltimore in the 1950s, and was recruited by Henry Parks. He was instrumental in turning the Park Sausage company, known for its popular "More Parks Sausages Mom,.....Please" slogan, into a great success that earned record financial profits. Park Sausages became the first minority-owned company to go public. Following the success of Parks Sausages Mr. Haysbert founded his family catering business, Forum Caterers.
Former Baltimore congressman and head of the national NAACP
Kweisi Mfume, said "Ray Haysbert was synonymous with the struggle for entrepreneurship among African Americans at a time when it wasn't very popular.

Mr. Haysbert helped integrate Baltimore politics by helping to get an African American elected to the council in 1963. He was also campaign treasurer for Sen. Harry Cole, the first black senator in Annapolis, and served as chairman for Clarence "Du" Burns in his unsuccessful run for mayor in 1987.
Up until his death, Mr. Haysbert remained the chairman of the Greater Baltimore Urban League, and the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce.

"He always figured he didn't have enough time to get all he wanted accomplished," said son Reginald, 62. "He was terrifically motivated to make the world a better place. … He couldn't say no to people when they needed help." He also says his father remained active with charities and business interests, carried around a laptop and kept up with current news using the Internet.
Baltimore City Mayor, Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake called Haysbert's death the "end of an era."

"Over the years, Mr. Haysbert used his success and status in the community to help hundreds of minority-owned businesses start and thrive in Baltimore. He remained active in his family business as well as never ceasing to give advice to many even during his time in hospice and the hospital. He lived and breathed service, especially to the entrepenuers that he encouraged. 

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young called Haysbert a "courageous American hero" who "persevered against discrimination and poverty to become a pioneering businessman and philanthropic force." He remained rooted in the understanding that he had a duty to his fellow citizens," Young said in a statement.

"Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he grew up in poverty during -The Great Depression- and worked for a coal company before joining the Army Air Corps, where he served as a fighter pilot in Africa and Italy with the Tuskeegee Airmen.

In 2003,
Coppin State University unveiled the Raymond V. Haysbert Research Center, a hub for research on African Americans in the Baltimore region.
The unveiling of the Center will open doors for applied and qualitative research to scholars, business, and political leaders in the Baltimore area. The Research Center, which will be located in the Grace Jacobs Building on the Coppin campus, will explore applied research in the areas of healthcare, technology, intervention methods for youth, and criminal justice with the intent of modeling actionable best practices for cities throughout the nation.

Mr. Haysbert is survived by his wife, Carol, and four children.

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., Rev. Douglas Sands, Marvin

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., Rev. Douglas Sands, and Marvin "Doc" Cheatham

(Baltimore Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum / January 4, 2006)

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. takes a bow as he is introduced as one of the honorary grand marshals of Baltimore's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in 2006. Applauding him are fellow honorary grand marshals the Rev. Douglas Sands and Marvin "Doc" Cheatham.


Raymond Haysbert Sr. at his Park Sausages production plant in 1984

(Baltimore Sun file photo)

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. at an Awards Gala with friends

Raymond V. Haysbert, Sr.
(L-R) Jim McLean, Evelyn Haysbert, Raymond Haysbert Jr., Jackie McLean, Raymond V. Haysbert Sr.
November, 1990.

Ray Hasbert, Sr.
Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. and George V. McGowan
Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. and George V. McGowan
Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. receiving Award 1972

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr.

Former Gov. William Donald Schaefer, former Sen. Frank Kelly, Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. 

Morgan State University honors former Gov. William Donald Schaefer by dedicating the William Donald Schaefer Engineering Building. During the ceremonies, Schaefer, right, is commended by former Sen. Frank Kelly, standing, and applauded by Raymond V. Haysbert Sr.
(Elizabeth Malby, Baltimore Sun / April 22, 1998)

RaymondHaysbert Sr. and Tamara Brown, at a 2005 professional networking event in Baltimore.

October 31, 2005


Delegate Barbara Robinson's 

Award Ceremony - November 2009

At the event Delegate Robinson dubbed Mr. Haysbert with his final honorary title as the


  Delegate Robinson and Ray Haysbert

 Ray Haysbert Mentees November 2009

Mr. Haysbert and longtime mentees GBBCC Secretary Debra Keller-Green and GBBCC Membership Chair Karyne Henry


Carl Stokes, and Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., on the Campaign Trail

Then-mayoral candidate Carl Stokes, right, announces Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. as honorary chairperson of his campaign in July 1999.
(Linda Coan, Baltimore Sun / July 16, 1999)

Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce
Unsung Hero Awards
Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. & GBBCC Vice President Lance Lucas
Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. &
GBBCC Vice President Lance Lucas

Preakness Infield 1996
Preakness 96' Senator Verna Jones, Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. and GBBCC Membership Chair Karyne Henry
Senator Verna Jones, Raymond V. Haysbert Sr. and GBBCC Membership Chair

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Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., elder statesman of Maryland's African-American business community was a God send to so many.

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., elder statesman of Md's African-American business community was a Godsend.He was a powerful political figure, business genius and mentor, steadfast friend, academic leader, and dedicated father. His constant pursuit of perfection and genius when it came to giving advice on issues from academics to political policy was amazingly impressive.

His willingness to always listen and then share his knowledge with others made him one of those unforgetable people that has left a great human void in the world, that will now be filled with an abundance of his wisdom for the ages.

We will miss you Mr. Haysbert.... Job Well Done - Rest in Peace.


Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 6 and 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. 1325 Bedford Avenue, Suite 5941; Pikesville, MD 21282-7510

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