his Life

Tributes from the Washington Post

October 17, 2010

When I came to DC in April 1989, Milton was one of my early mentors. The work he did with the Council of Great City Schools will long be remembered as will his service as a past Director of the White House Office on HBCUs and a presidential appointee of the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs. Rest in peace my friend.
David Byrd,
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
October 17, 2010
I was Milton's secretary at the Council of Great City Schools. He treated me as a member of the team which truly boosted my sense of self-esteem. He was one of the first Black Republicans that I met. He was a great inspiration. Rest in peace, a job well done on earth.
Gwen Southerland
Gwen Southerland,
Washington, District of Columbia
October 17, 2010
You will be missed so much Milton. Another great Mississippi Man who was not afraid to say what was on your mind. One of the most inelligent person I have ever met. Al White
Albert White,
Silver Spring, Maryland
October 17, 2010
It was an extreme pleasure knowing Milton over the years. He always exhibited great confidence towards whatever project he pursued. Its with great sadness to offer these words at his passing.
Don Scoggins,
Woodbridge, Virginia
October 17, 2010
I am humbled and honored to call this man my fraternity brother! Bro. Bins, your family and brothers love and miss you. 06

Bro. Charles Phillips
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated
Epsilon Gamma Lambda Chapter
Charles Phillips,
Boston, Massachusetts

Milton Bins: A Life Well Lived

Milton Bins was born on December 11, 1934, in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, to John and Elizabeth Bins. Milton departed this life on October 10, 2010, in Leesburg, Florida.

As a young boy, Milton moved to Chicago and attended Wendell Phillips High School, where he was in the program for gifted students and an officer in the ROTC. After completing high school, Milton attended the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), where he received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1960. During his early college years he met and married Gladys Minor. Although they later divorced, from this union were born a daughter, Deidre, and a son, Gregory Milton. He then furthered his education in 1968 by earning a Master of Science in Mathematics from Chicago State University.

In the early sixties, Milton began a career as a mathematics teacher at Hyde Park High School in Chicago. One of his students remember him as extremely competent, caring, comical and cool. Another remembers him as being passionate about teaching, especially mathematics and had fun doing it.  More importantly, he made them feel like he cared about them as people. Over the years many of his students continued to seek him out to express their gratitude for the encouragement and guidance he provided. Hearing from these bright former students was one of Milton's greatest pleasures.

In 1967, Milton was recruited by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishing Company and moved to New York City, where he served as a sales representative, national consultant on urban education and book editor. After two years, he moved to Washington, DC, where he was an intern at the Institute for Education Leadership and served in the Office of the Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Commission. He later took a position as a corporate director in the DC office of John F. Small, Inc., an advertising agency.

In 1970, Milton Bins received a Ford Foundation Fellowship to attend the University of Pennsylvania to study for a doctorate degree. After earning a Master of Science in Education at Penn in 1972, he began a nearly 20-year career with the Council of the Great City Schools, where he served in a number of positions, including deputy executive director. His commitment to education was without borders. He led delegations of students and educators to Canada, Great Britain, Israel, the Ivory Coast, Japan and Kenya. It was during these years that Milton entered into a ten-year marriage with Carolyn Fitchett of Washington DC. Carolyn passed away in 1981.

Milton was a man of many passions. Education, political and social justice are where he leaves his legacy. He was passionate about his family. He was passionate about ensuring that every child has access to a quality public education. He was equally passionate about African Americans getting a fair return on the investment of their political capital. A leading Republican, he was a high-profile advocate for African Americans’ full participation in the two-party system. Milton’s political accomplishments would fill a book. Indeed, he planned to write a book about African Americans and the Republican Party.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Milton to serve as the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He later served on President George H.W. Bush’s Board of Advisers on HBCUs. Milton was a co-chair of the Education Policy Group and Telecommunications and Information Technology Working Group of Dole-Kemp ’96. He spearheaded the campaign to build public support for the confirmation of Clarence Thomas as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

A former vice chairman of the District of Columbia Republican Committee, Milton was an alternate delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention and a delegate to the 1988 Republican National Convention. He also served as vice president of the Ripon Society, a national organization of moderate Republicans. Milton was particularly proud that he was twice elected chairman of the Council of 100, a network of African American Republicans. He also served on advisory committees on African American outreach established by the Republican National Committee. 

Always ahead of the curve, Milton co-founded the Douglass Policy Institute, a virtual think tank that focused on the intersection of public policy, technology and civic engagement. Indefatigable and with an unbending intellect, Milton served on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Advisory Committee on the Black Population for the 1990 and 2000 Census, and the Advisory Board of the Electric Power Research Institute, one of the nation’s largest research consortia. 

Milton was the recipient of many awards and honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, a Distinguished Service Award from Magnet Schools of America, a Certificate of Partner in Education from the America-Israel Friendship League, and special recognition by the Council of the Great City Schools and Memphis City Schools. 

Milton was a frequent commentator on national television and cable TV, including CBS News, ABC News, Black Entertainment Television and “The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.” His talk show appearances included “This is America with Dennis Wholey,” “Donahue,” “Both Sides with Jesse Jackson” and “Tony Brown’s Journal.” 

A member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Milton was a visionary pioneer and mentor to hundreds. A lifelong learner and avid reader, he enjoyed cruises, long walks, good music, good food, good wine and good friends.

In 2005, Milton retired to Florida with his wife of nearly 28 years, Adrienne.  But even in retirement, he did it his way. The two things that gave Milton the most joy the past few years were watching Tiger Woods and having the opportunity to cast his vote for the first African American President of the United States. 

Milton is survived by his loving wife, Dr. Adrienne King Bins; son, Gregory Milton Bins; daughter-in-law, Dorothy Bins; stepson, Randall Jackson; sister, Lillie V.R. Shabazz; brother-in-law, Dr. Olu Shabazz; sister, Annie Lee Williams; grandchildren, Jennifer, John and Asia; great-granddaughter, Brooke Lynne; niece, Ronette; nephews, Alan and Ariel; and a host of other relatives and friends.  He was predeceased by his daughter, Deidre, brother, John D. Bins, Jr., and nephew, Derik M. Hampton.