James H. Gilliam Jr. was a charter Trustee of HHMI and a respected business and civic leader.

James H. Gilliam Jr. was a charter Trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and chair of its Audit and Compensation Committee when he died in 2003 at the age of 58.

Gilliam, a longtime resident of Wilmington, Delaware, was a respected business and civic leader. Trained as a lawyer, he served as Secretary of Community Affairs and Economic Development from 1977-79 in the administration of Governor Pierre S. du Pont IV and was the first African American to hold a cabinet-level office in Delaware.

Like his father, James H. Gilliam Sr., Gilliam was an alumnus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2000, he and his wife, Linda J. Gilliam, established a $1.5 million fine arts endowment at Morgan State to honor his father on his 80th birthday. The gift was the largest in Morgan State's history.

Gilliam, who graduated from the Columbia University School of Law in 1970, practiced law in New York City and Wilmington before joining the du Pont administration. For many years he also chaired Delaware's Judicial Nominating Committee.

Gilliam joined the Beneficial Finance Corporation in 1979 and was executive vice president and general counsel at Beneficial until 1998, when it was acquired by Household International Corporation. At the time of his death, he was chief counsel at Knickerbocker LLC, a private investment firm. He also served as a trustee of the National Geographic Society and the Delaware Community Foundation and on the board of several companies.

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