1 minute readHistory

African-American History Month: Honoring Steve Bullock


Steve Bullock on Red Cross Truck During Vietnam War

This African-American History Month, we are honoring black men and women who played a pivotal role in helping the American Red Cross become the organization that it is today. This week, we’d like to highlight Steve Bullock.

Steve Bullock has a rich history with the American Red Cross spanning nearly 40 years. He began his career with the organization in 1962, working as a caseworker on military installations. His work took him and his family to military posts throughout the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Twenty years later, he became the Chief Executive Officer and Chapter Manager of the Greater Cleveland Chapter.

Steve Bullock in Red Cross Jeep

Bullock culminated his career at the American Red Cross in 1999, when he was named Acting President of the national agency in Washington, DC. He was the first African American to serve as Acting President of the organization. He took on the role after the resignation of Elizabeth Dole, who recommended him for the post.

While serving as Acting President, he brought a team of staff and members of the news media along with 60,000 pounds of relief supplies to Macedonia to aid nearly 140,000 ethnic Albanian refugees driven from their homes in Kosovo. In 1999, he also visited Honduras, which was then recovering from Hurricane Mitch, to announce that the country would be receiving $38 million for emergency and relief efforts, making it the largest international disaster relief campaign mounted by the American Red Cross at the time. In addition to relief efforts, Bullock also championed technology, chapter development, cultural diversity and youth involvement.

Steve Bullock Portrait