Alonzo Herndon was born on June 26, 1858. He was a businessman and the founder and president of the Atlanta Family Life Insurance Company. It was one of the most successful black-owned insurance businesses on the nation. He was born into slavery and was the son of his white master Frank Herndon and an enslaved woman, Sophenie.
His family worked in Sharecropping. In 1878, Herndon left on foot. He went to Jonesboro, Clayton County, where he opened a barbershop. His barber business thrived and expanded over the years and he later became the owner of three barber shops in Atlanta. The barber shops had elite customers such as presidents, judges, business men and lawyers. Through his enterprises, Herndon became Atlanta's first black millionaire, but on July 21,1927 Alonzo Herndon died.
From slavery to wealth