Churchill Cotton was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent a majority of his childhood in Chicago. However, because of his father’s position as a bishop his family moved around often. Growing up, Churchill played the piano and developed an interest in sports. As a result of his interest in basketball, he earned a scholarship at Lincoln University, a historically Black university, where he studied finance.
After graduation, he went to work for General Electric in Philadelphia. Later, In 1972, he came to work at GE in Pittsfield, where he met his wife, Patricia. However, he also worked for GE in the Cleveland and Philadelphia areas before returning to Pittsfield in 1989. Following his employment at GE, Churchill worked for KB Toys and Guardian Life Insurance. Besides his work, Churchill has served on the Pittsfield City Council and the School Committee, and is involved with the Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield. Also, Churchill is a descendant of Frederick Douglass.
“I take exception when people say, ‘Kids are our future.’ We are their future. How we teach and help them develop, that gives them their future.”
Click here to listen to Churchill’s full interview in the Special Collections and University Archives at UMass Amherst Libraries
A full transcript of the interview will be available soon