Donald M. Suggs

St. Louis American

Donald M. Suggs was born in East Chicago, Indiana and attended the public schools there.  He graduated with B.S. and D.D.S. Degrees from Indiana University, then did his post-graduate work at Washington University Dental School and Homer G. Phillips Hospital.  He served as chief of oral surgery at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and was the first African-American to serve as an associate clinical professor at St. Louis University Dental School.  Suggs was a fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgeons and has a limited private practice in his specialty.

Active in the civil rights movement in the 60’s and 70’s, he served as chairman of the Poor People’s March-On-Washington in 1968.  Later, he became founder and chairman of the African Continuum, organized to bring serious non-commercial African-American artistic endeavors to St. Louis.  He was a long-time president of the Alexander-Suggs Gallery of African Art based in St. Louis and New York City (1970-1989).  He is a founding member of the Center for African Art, (now the Museum of African Art in New York City) and is a former member of the board of directors of the Studio Museum in New York as well.  Suggs currently serves on the St. Louis Art Museum Board of Commissioners.

He was the first African-American to serve as president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of St. Louis.  His business activities also include:  president of Arch Concessions and a partner with D & D Concessions and the City Plaza Project.

Dr. Suggs has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Harris-Stowe State University and St. Louis University and is the recipient of many civic awards.

He is currently president and publisher of the St. Louis American Newspaper, Missouri’s largest black newspaper.  He is the father of Donald M. Jr., Dawn Marie, and Dina Margaret.

He serves on the following boards:

Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center: Community Advisory Board
Barnes Jewish College of Nursing and Allied Health: Board of Directors
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis: Board of Directors
Dance St. Louis: Board of Directors
Downtown St. Louis Partnership: Board of Directors
Forest Park Forever: Executive Committee
Grand Center, Inc.: Board of Directors
Greater St. Louis Community Foundation: Board of Directors
Harris-Stowe State University: African-American Business Leadership Council
Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club: Founding Board Member & Executive Committee
Hopewell Center: Board of Directors
Innovate St. Louis: Board of Directors
KFUO 99.1: Radio Arts Board
Muny: Board of Directors
Missouri Historical Society: Board of Trustees
Opera Theatre of St. Louis: Board of Directors
Regional Business Council: Board of Directors
St. Louis American Foundation: Founder & President
St. Louis Art Museum: Board of Commissioners
St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable
St. Louis Community Foundation: Board of Directors
St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association: Executive Committee
St. Louis Science Center: Board of Trustees
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees
St. Louis Variety: Board of Directors
University of Missouri-St. Louis: Chancellor’s Council
United Way: Executive Committee

  1. Founder of Charmaine Chapman Society (Formerly the African American Leadership Giving Initiative)
  2. Alexis de Tocqueville Society

Washington University: National Council–George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Webster University: Board of Trustees

Past board Service:
Girls, Inc.
Junior Achievement
Salvation Army of Greater St. Louis
St. Louis Area Boy Scouts of America
St. Louis ConnectCare
St. Louis Zoo

Among his major civic awards:

St. Louis Citizen of the Year 2004

Lifetime Achievement Award:           Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Mentor St. Louis
Gateway Classic

The Junior Achievement/Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Business Hall of Fame Laureate


The Presidential Medallion—Harris Stowe State University

Human Development Corporation— Community Signal Award

YMCA of Greater St. Louis—Human Dignity Award