Mortimer’s story is a depiction of triumph in the face of adversity and he knew that an obituary item would not fully capture highlights of one Black man’s struggle in the racial world of the 50’s and 60’s, outside the spotlight of the Civil Rights Movement. So in writing down his thoughts, honestly, he left a gift that details the journeys he took to affirm why he, his voice and his life mattered. Next week, we present his story, written in his words. (Bernice Elizabeth Green/Legacy Ventures)


James Mortimer, loving husband and father, exemplary community and youth empowerment advocate and pioneering entrepreneur, passed on Saturday, January 21 at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in the presence of his wife Doris and family members.

Mortimer, known as “Big Jim” to many throughout New York City, was so anointed the title because of his generosity of spirit, time and wisdom as much as for his demeanor and his height.

A leader before his time, Jimmy reached great heights in his lifetime against immense odds.

The Brooklyn-native, a long-time resident of Lower Manhattan, attended public schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Washington, D.C., as well as  Chamberlain Junior College in Boston, Massachusetts and The College of New Rochelle in Brooklyn.  His primary interest was mathematics and problem solving. Those gifts and his dedication to his family’s work-ethic traditions — which found him holding down several after-school jobs while at Decatur J.H.S. 35 and Wingate H.S. – carried him through life.

He served in the United States Army for two years, training at bases in Fort Dix, N.J.,  Aberdeen Maryland, Fort Chaffee, Arkansas and Nahant, Massachusetts where he became a missile man, “one of the guys that would in case of danger, shoot off the missile.”

He was one of the first persons of color to study IBM and computer science courses, including keypunch operations, and programming, during the early 1960’s.  His immense command of the field, at that time, landed him a position at the Olivetti Underwood Company, where he parlayed a job as night supervisor into recognition as a gifted programmer and then a professional evaluator of the company’s affirmative action programs.

Mr. Mortimer was always self-motivated.  He started Big Jim’s Trucking Company, later Big Jim and Edgar’s company, in 1972. Four years later he opened a thrift shop in what is now SoHo, at Spring and Broadway in New York City.  In 1978, he opened a furniture manufacturing company, making him possibly the first African American to manufacture redwood tables and clocks in the New York City area.

He also held positions with HRA, the Environmental Protection Department, and HPD as a Real Property Manager.

A man of prayer and a believer, Mr. Mortimer was a member of Mariner’s Temple Baptist Church, and its choir and men’s fellowship club.  He was most proud of being a member of the committee that selected the first woman to serve as a senior pastor an American Baptist Church. His work in community advocacy included his Board of Director work with his co-op Gouverneur Gardens. 

Mr. Mortimer leaves behind stories of his incredible journey, and spirit to his wife, Doris; his son James ; daughter Chantese (Jabron); and his grandchildren, James Mortimer IV, Bianca Marcelino, Jalin Sinclair, and Tyler Mortimer. His sisters and brothers who predeceased him were: Delores Brown, Freida Smith, Patricia Jones, Rhoda Barnes, and Jeffrey Barnes. His living siblings are Carolyn Moyer, Lee Jones, Marilyn Jones, Wanda Jones, Lynette Jones, Denise Barnes, and Melvin Barnes. To say he will be missed, doesn’t come close to the size of the void that has been created in the lives of his vast extended family but … When James “Big Jim” Mortimer, a leader in the grassroots community, passed, he left a gift behind for all of us. The similarities between Mr. James Mortimer’s story of his journey and author Willard Motley’s 1960 “Let No Man Write My Epitaph” end with the overall message of the book’s haunting title and overall theme: a lesson in how not to permit the sordid matters of life, inaction and silence, overpower dreams.

The similarities between Mr. James Mortimer’s story of his journey and author Willard Motley’s 1960 “Let No Man Write My Epitaph”  end with the overall message of the book’s haunting title and overall theme:  a lesson in how not to permit the sordid matters of life, inaction and silence, overpower dreams.

When Mortimer passed last Saturday, he left behind for his family HIS story written in his words. And I know that the man known to my siblings as “Big Jim,” a Believer, would want it known that his “epitaph” was forged by the pen-and ink of a Higher Power.

Mortimer’s story is a depiction of triumph in the face of adversity and he knew that an obituary item would not fully capture highlights of one Black man’s struggle in the racial world of the 50’s and 60’s, outside the spotlight of the Civil Rights Movement.

So in writing down his thoughts, honestly, he left a gift that details the journeys he took to affirm why he, his voice and his life mattered.  Next week, we present his story, written in his words.   (Bernice Elizabeth Green/Legacy Ventures)



  1. It’s actually very difficult in this active life to listen news on Television, thus I simply use world wide web
    for that reason, and obtain the most up-to-date news.

  2. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily
    basis. It’s always useful to read articles from other writers and practice
    something from other web sites.

  3. This search engine optimization device could be encompassed
    almost any kind of submission device sustaining
    any type of website entry you such as by a simple script engine.

  4. Hey there, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing

  5. fantastic post, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite
    specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing.
    I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  6. Hеy, you used to write wonderful, but the laѕt several posts have been kіnda boring… I
    miss your tremendous wrіtings. Past severaⅼ posts are ϳuѕt a little bit out off track!

    come on!

  7. I like thiѕ post, enjoyed this one thɑnks for puttіng up.
    “When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.” by Anais Nin.

  8. Psychological eaters might likewise discover Garcinia
    cambogia useful as studies show that it boosts serotonin degrees in the body, which assists boost
    one’s sleeping pattern as well as moods.

  9. I would never recommend packing GMAT preparation into one month if
    it isn’t really definitely needed, but Magoosh helped me make one of the most out
    of my limited time.

  10. Reliable garments storage services are within reach’ pop in to your closest store or search the Super Amart
    site currently and also click room closet items to see further details.

  11. I’m very happy to uncover this site. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic
    read!! I definitely really liked every part of it
    and i also have you saved to fav to see new stuff in your web site.

  12. On-line searching for Kitchen area Bins, Drawer organisers, Kitchen area cabinet insides and accessories, Campers suggestions, Washing storage space, Elfa Basket Systems
    & Closet shelving systems, General Homewares, Restroom and
    Childrens Storage, Wine cellar & Roofing system Area storage.

  13. Dự án căn hộ Aqua Luxury còn căn 113m2 không?

    Còn thì gọi mình số 0931686475 Gặp Anh

    Căn hộ nằm ngay trên trục đường Tôn Thất Thuyết hứa hẹn sẽ là nơi
    đem đến cho bạn một “Chốn bình yên chim hót” bởi
    những gì mà dự án mang đến. Bạn sẽ được sống trong một căn hộ hội tụ đầy đủ
    các yếu tố về nội thất, thiết kế, không gian, cảnh

    Một căn hộ vuông vức với cách bố trí mặt bằng căn hộ hợp lý, thiết kế nội thất đẹp sang trọng,
    không gian sống mở nắng đón gió hướng ra “Lõi trung tâm thành
    phố” sẽ là nơi cho bạn được tận hưởng một cuộc
    sống trọn vẹn.

    Hầu hết các căn hộ Aqua Luxury đều được
    thiết kế ban công với hướng tầm nhìn đẹp, hứng trọn ánh sáng và gió trời vào căn hộ giúp cho chủ nhân giao hòa tuyệt đối với thiên nhiên. Ngoài ra tại căn hộ của Aqua Luxury,
    các bạn hoàn toàn có thể tự trang trí và bố trí nội thất theo phong cách
    riêng của mình, các kiến trúc sư và nhà thiết kế hàng đầu sẽ tư vấn cho các bạn về cách bày đặt và
    sắp xếp trong căn hộ sao cho hợp lý với phong thủy, với tuổi của gia chủ nhất.

    Căn hộ tại Aqua Luxury thường có từ 1 – 3 phòng ngủ,
    được thiết kế theo phong cách hiện đại pha chút cổ điển, đem đến cho bạn một cuộc sống đẳng cấp hơn bao giờ hết.

  14. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your blog.
    It looks like some of the text within your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and
    let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

  15. We later introduced new locations for our private yacht charters as well as
    watercraft scenic tours going from Miami or Ft Lauderdale to the Caribbean with
    our luxury yacht charter Bahamas infant, and strategy to have even more way-points or courses readily available to charter to
    other islands near Florida.

  16. Thes arre genuinely ggreat ieas iin on thhe topic oof blogging.
    You ave touchd slme goood pojnts here. Anny way
    keep uup wrinting. I havbe bee browsiong on-line greaqter than thbree hours
    these days, buut I necer fouund aany fascinatinng artjcle like yours.
    It is beauitiful price sufficient for me. In my opinion, iff aall website
    ownerrs and bloggers mqde good coontent material ass youu
    probazbly did, thhe webb wwill lkely be mmuch mire seful thazn evwr before.

    I’ve bbeen surting online moee tgan 4 houyrs today, yeet I
    neverr ffound anny inteesting articloe like yours. It’s pretyty wirth enough forr me.In my view, iff
    alll wrbsite wners aand bloggers made gokod
    content ass yoou did, tthe net willl bee mucxh mor useful than ever before.