Mellody Hobson: Business Star

Web-Extra Audio

Listen to more of Mellody Hobson's thoughts on her remarkable life and position in society.

Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson attends a dinner held in her honor to present her with the 2005 Stone award. Peter Kramer/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Peter Kramer/Getty Images

Mellody Hobson's childhood wasn't easy. She was the youngest of six kids, all raised by their single mother. Money was worse than tight. And the family moved constantly, from apartment to apartment, and from one Chicago neighborhood to the next.

Despite it all, Hobson's mother encouraged her daughter to dream big. And she did.

After graduating from Princeton University, Hobson returned home to work for a black-owned investment firm, Ariel Capital Management. She logged 10 years of long days, including the occasional seven-day work week. The hard work eventually lead to her becoming president of the company at the age of 31.

Today, Hobson has perfected the art of squeezing 30 hours of work out of a 24-hour day. She continues to helm Ariel. But she's also a regular financial contributor to ABC's Good Morning America and a board member for corporate heavy-hitters like Starbucks, Dreamworks SKG and Estee Lauder.

As part of the News and Notes series "Leading Ladies," celebrating women in leadership, Farai Chideya talks with Mellody Hobson about her storybook rise to power, and what it takes to stay ahead in the cutthroat world of business.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.