John’s vision of creating a whole new approach to community uplift, rooted in economic empowerment, combating financial illiteracy, restoring dignity, offering redemption, and addressing the critical issues facing corporations and financial institutions today, has driven Operation HOPE since its inception.

“The most dangerous person in the world is one with no hope.”

His life work has been to help realize equity of opportunity for all; to equip people in underserved communities with the financial tools and training needed to take ownership of their lives and create a secure financial future.

John’s entrepreneurial journey began with the visit of a well-dressed banker to his elementary school in Compton, California. The banker came to his class to talk about financial education for young people. John asked the banker what he did for a living and how one could get rich legally. The banker responded that he made loans to entrepreneurs. At that time, John did not know what an entrepreneur was but decided that he was going to be one. From that day, John has been involved in business. Starting his first venture at the age of 10 with a modest $10 investment from his mother, John has been a lifelong entrepreneur who has built more than forty organizations, entities and companies.

“Persistence and resilience are more powerful than pedigree and raw intelligence.”

John Hope Bryant is an American entrepreneur, thought leader, philanthropic executive, and a leading expert in financial and economic inclusion. Bryant, named in 2024 by TIME Magazine to their inaugural list of The Closers, 18 global leaders working to close the racial wealth gap, is a CNBC Contributor, host of the iHeart Radio podcast, “Money and Wealth with John Hope Bryant,” a member of the CNBC Global Financial Wellness Council and the CNBC CEO Council, and a best-selling author of six books, including Financial Literacy For All, released April 2024. He is one of the only Black bestselling authors on economics and business leadership in the world today.

Referred to as the “conscience of capitalism” by numerous Fortune 500 CEOs, Bryant is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc. the nation’s largest on-the-ground nonprofit provider of financial literacy. Bryant is also responsible for financial literacy becoming the official policy of the U.S. federal government (President George W. Bush and Obama), and is the only American citizen to ever inspire the renaming of a building on the White House campus; from the US Treasury Annex Building, to the Freedman’s Bank Building, in honor of Lincoln’s unfinished work to teach freed slaves about money, in 1865. Bryant also inspired the Treasury Department to host a Freedman’s Bank Forum, which has continued annually under successive administrations.

Operation HOPE, with hundreds of offices across America, is working to level the opportunity playing field for underserved America, connecting communities to the private sector through inclusive capitalism, at scale. Bryant’s personal mission is to unleash untapped human potential at scale, resulting in increased national GDP (economic growth).

Water color image of JHB

Bryant the entrepreneur is also chairman and chief executive officer of John Hope Bryant Holdings, Bryant Group Ventures, Bryant Group Advisors, and executive chairman of The Promise Homes Company (Promise Homes), the largest for-profit minority-controlled owner of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S. In December 2021, Bryant recapitalized and sold Promise Homes into a new Promise Homes Co. joint venture, successfully closing a $200M credit facility to grow the new housing joint venture. According to Black Enterprise, it was one of the largest capital raises by a Black-owned company in more than a decade.

Organizations founded by Bryant have provided more than $4.2 billion in capital for the underserved over the past three decades. The 1 Million Black Businesses Initiative (1MBB), conceived by Bryant and Shopify founder and CEO Tobi Lütke, was launched in October 2020, and has since started, served, or scaled nearly 400,000 Black-owned businesses, representing 12% of all Black businesses in America. On May 2, 2023, 1MBB was recognized by Fast Company with the 2023 ‘World Changing Ideas’ Award. Bryant also co-founded the Financial Literacy for All Initiative with Walmart CEO Doug McMillion, a movement of Fortune 500 executives united in leveraging their brands to embed financial literacy into U.S. culture.

Bryant’s financial empowerment work has been recognized by five U.S. presidents. He has served as an advisor to three sitting U.S. presidents representing both parties.

In 2021, Bryant was called upon by U.S. Treasury officials to help design aspects of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) tied to small enterprises, which helped millions of small businesses and entrepreneurs survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watercolor - JHB Book signing

In 2008, Bryant inspired President George W. Bush to make financial literacy the official policy of the U.S. federal government. Following 9/11, Bryant also worked with the Bush Administration to create a new federal policy framework for emergency financial disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, resulting in a first-ever partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA and Operation HOPE.

Bryant has received hundreds of awards and citations for his work, including Oprah Winfrey’s “Use Your Life” Award, and the “John Sherman Award for Excellence in Financial Education” from the U.S. Department of Treasury. He was part of TIME Magazine’s inaugural class of “50 Leaders for the Future” in 1994, alongside Bill Gates, Jamie Dimon, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Maya Lin, and Wynton Marsalis, and American Banker named him
“Innovator of the Year” in 2016.

In 2019, the City of Atlanta, where Operation HOPE is based, designated April 15 as “John Hope Bryant Day.” Operation HOPE and Bryant are also a permanent part of the Smithsonian African American Museum in Washington, D.C.

In April 2017, Bryant, with support from his friend, HOPE board member and First Horizon Bank CEO Bryan Jordan, inspired a historical marker to recognize the final flight of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Memphis on April 3, 1968. The marker was installed at the Memphis International Airport 49 years to the day that Eastern Flight 381 arrived from Atlanta.

Bryant is a LinkedIn Influencer, and was selected as one of LinkedIn’s “Top 10 Voices.” His social media video series, “Straight Talk with John Hope Bryant,” has received over 100 million views, which led to a Facebook-sponsored episodic streaming series entitled, ‘Delivering The Memo,’ inspired by Bryant’s bestselling book, The Memo. He has over three million followers across his social media platforms.

John Hope Bryant was born on February 6, 1966, in Los Angeles, Ca. He and his wife Chaitra Dalton Bryant reside in Atlanta, GA.

To download a pdf version of John’s bio, click here.

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 Books by John Hope Bryant

Financial Literacy for All
Financial Literacy for All

“Fixing income inequality will reignite the American Dream, and John takes aim at one of the biggest challenges of our time in Financial Literacy for All. I share John’s optimism that we can help change the world and address our problems with the right skills, tools and knowledge.”

– Jamie Dimon
CEO, JPMorgan Chase

Up From Nothing
Up From Nothing

“John Hope Bryant brings the lofty ideals of the American dream within the reach of those who have been left out, looked over and locked out of its acquisition. His latest literary deposit, UP FROM NOTHING – The Untold Story of How We All Succeed, will inspire you, but greater still, it will impart to you the tools necessary to greatly enhance your impact!”

– Bishop T. D. Jakes,
C.E.O., TDJ Enterprises, LLP, New York Times best-selling Author

The Memo
The Memo

“John captures how our world, with its amazing technological advances, has no space for those who procrastinate. To reimagine what is possible, people need more than just access to financial tools and services. The sense of urgency and ownership he describes can help us to put those tools to work to benefit ourselves and ensure that we won’t have the Internet of Everything without the Inclusion of Everyone.”

– Ajay Banga
President and CEO, MasterCard

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism
How the Poor Can Save Capitalism

“Bryant’s offering is a critically thought-out, comprehensive, and clearly articulated remedy that will advance our suffering and stymied community. And it’s written beautifully and boldly from a perspective of deep understanding and compassion and a heart full of love.”

– Susan Taylor
Former CEO, Essence magazine, and current CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement

Love Leadership
Love Leadership

“The words love and leadership perfectly exemplify John Hope Bryant and all that he stands for. When it comes to making a difference and succeeding in business and life, this book is a must-read for today’s current and future leaders.”

– Jim Clifton
Chairman and CEO, Gallup, and author of The Coming Jobs War