Famous Men You Didn’t Know Were Members of Omega Psi Phi
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was founded on Nov. 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was the first international and predominately Black frat to be created on the campus of a historically Black college or university.
The organization‘s Greek letters, ΩΨΦ, stand for the first three letters of its motto, “Friendship is essential to the soul.”
There are currently 750 undergraduate and graduate chapters of Omega Psi Phi, which strive to uphold the cardinal principles of “manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift.”
Throughout its 107-year history, Omega Psi Phi has been able to claim prominent figures who regularly plug their membership, including actor/rapper/former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, comedian Steve Harvey and retired NFL star Ray Lewis.
In honor of Founders Day, EBONY.com is highlighting other famous “Ques.”
Carter was drafted into the NBA in 1998 and was the Rookie of the Year in 1999. The Atlanta Hawks shooting guard/small forward is part of a small group of professional basketball players who have played at least 20 seasons in the professional league.
He is an eight-time NBA All-Star and an Olympic gold medalist. Carter ranks eighth overall for total career regular-season three-pointers.
In April 2017, he became the first 40-year-old player to make at least three 3-pointers in a playoff game.
Upholding his commitment to service, Carter established the Embassy of Hope Foundation, which assists underserved children and their families in Florida, New Jersey and Toronto, during his rookie year. In 2000, he was honored as the Child Advocate of the Year by the Children’s Home Society. In 2007, Carter was awarded the Florida Governor’s Points of Light award for his charitable efforts.
O’Neil, born Thaddeus Michael Bullard, is a WWE superstar. He is also a poignant figure on the wrestling organization’s show Monday Night Raw.
Outside the ring, the wrestler is heavily involved with multiple nonprofit organizations, including United Way and Susan G. Komen. In addition, O’Neil raises money to provide scholarships to student-athletes and hosts an annual Joy of Giving event at which he gives toys to hundreds of children.
O’Neil is also a 2018 EBONY Power 100 honoree.
Hughes was an American poet, social activist and playwright who made a career portraying Black life in his work. He was an early innovator of jazz poetry.
Hughes became a leader of the Harlem Renaissance and is considered “Harlem’s Poet Laureate.”
He joined Omega Psi Phi as an undergraduate at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1963, Hughes received an honorary degree from Howard University.
Four years later, he died at the age of 65 of complications following prostate cancer surgery. Hughes’ ashes are buried under the foyer floor at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.
Joyner is the radio host of ABC Radio Networks’ nationally syndicated radio program The Tom Joyner Morning Show, which began in 1994 and has millions of daily listeners.
The radio personality began his career in broadcasting as a student at Alabama’s Tuskegee University, where he joined Omega Psi Phi. Shortly after graduation, he worked for stations in the South and Midwest.
In the summer of 1978, he worked for Chicago’s WJPC radio station, named after the Johnson Publishing Company, which was founded by John H. Johnson, who started both EBONY and JET magazines.
Over the course of his 40-year career, Joyner has founded Reach Media Inc.; the Tom Joyner Foundation, which provides scholarships to HBCUs for endowments and capacity-building enhancements; and BlackAmericaWeb.com, a website sharing news and entertainment for African-Americans.
The singer is a member of the iconic R&B group Boyz II Men. During its 25-year career, the Philly-born collective has won a plethora of awards, including four Grammys, nine American Music Awards and nine Soul Train Awards.
In 2016, Morris competed during Season 22 of the celebrity reality series Dancing With the Stars. He placed in third in the competition.
In February, Boyz II Men kicked off the group’s 20th-anniversary celebration with the Love Cruise, and later released Twenty, an album with 10 new tracks and 10 re-recordings of their classic hits.
Morris also co-founded The Cooley High Experience, an online school for performing arts featuring classes taught by celebrity experts.
The retired NBA player was born in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Georgia Tech University in 1986 and was drafted into the league during in the first round.
Salley won the NBA Finals with the Detroit Pistons (1989 and 1990), the Chicago Bulls (1996) and the Los Angeles Lakers (2000). He was the first player in NBA history to play for three championship-winning teams.
He is also the first of only two players to have won a championship in three different decades.
During the end of and after his basketball career, Salley dived into acting and broadcasting. He appeared in films including Eddie, Bad Boys and Bad Boys II. The NBA champion also hosted Fox Sports series The Best Damn Sports Show Period, and the game show I Can’t Believe You Said That!
Salley is now a vegan activist, he has worked with PETA and Operation Smile, and he is an entrepreneur in the growing cannabis industry.
Below, watch the video of Omega men celebrating: