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Nathaniel H. Bronner, Sr.

Bro. Nathaniel BronnerEntrepreneur Nathaniel H. Bronner, Sr.  founder and president of Bronner Brothers hair-care products company, died of a heart attack at Southwest Hospital and Medical Center in Atlanta in 1993.

Born in Kelly, Ga., March 13, 1914, Bronner encountered scathing racism while growing up. The Ku Klux Klan twice ran his family from property the Bronner's owned, but young Bronner remained determined to succeed.

He went to Atlanta at age 17 to live with relatives and complete his education. He graduated from Washington High School and Morehouse College with a degree in business administration.

In 1947, he created Bronner Brothers Cosmetics Co. with his brothers after returning from serving in the armed forces in World War II. The company employs about 150 people, about 75 of whom are relatives, and had 1992 sales of $19.5 million. The company ranked 72nd on Black Enterprise magazine's list of the U.S. Top 100 Blacks Businesses.

Bronner's six sons - Nathaniel Jr., Bernard, Darrow, Dale, Charles and James - worked with him in running the company.

Bronner, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, was known as a community philanthropist. He created the Black on Black Love Campaign to provide clothes and shoes for poor children and vans to transport them to church and afterward McDonalds. He also created a scholarship fund for poor children who want to pursue careers in the cosmetics industry.

During his funeral at Word of faith Family Worship Center in East Point, Ga., he was eulogized by his son, Rev. Dale Bronner.

His wife, Robbie, also spoke during the services. "He was real in his home ... he lived the life... he lived and was thankful to his wife, his children, his business. He was a patriot," Robbie Bronner said.

He is survived by his wife, Robbie; six sons, Nathaniel H. Jr., Bernard, Darrow, Rev. Dale Carnegie, Rev. Charles Elijah and James S., all of Atlanta; three brothers, Arthur of Atlanta, Weslow of Chicago, and Charles of Washington; two sisters, Juanita Garmon and Catherine Render, both of Atlanta; and 14 grandchildren.

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