Greg Hinton, Chicago native and Democratic Party’s first chief diversity officer, dead at 66

“What he did is he made the DNC accountable for diversity,” said Democratic National Committee Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins.

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Greg Hinton

Greg Hinton

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Greg Hinton, a Chicago native who became the Democratic Party’s first chief diversity officer, has died. He was 66.

Mr. Hinton was hired in 2011 to ensure diversity of staffing and vendor contracts with the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Convention Committee. 

“What he did is he made the DNC accountable for diversity,” said Virgie Rollins, chair of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus.

“Before Greg came in, we were always asking the question ‘Can you give us some data on hiring? You can say you’re doing these things, but ...’” Rollins said. “Then Greg came in and made sure they hired folks of color, and he kept us up to date on the status on a monthly basis on DNC hiring.”

Mr. Hinton died over the weekend at his South Side home, according to family.

Mr. Hinton’s influence could be seen in the staff and vendors chosen for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Rollins said.

“Everybody respected him because he knew what he was doing, and he knew how to relate to the DNC and constituent caucuses and how to hire good candidates and connect with diverse businesses,” Rollins said. “Plus, he was just the nicest guy in the world.”

Mr. Hinton held the position for five years while former President Barack Obama occupied the White House and stepped down in 2017.

“He knew Obama and had a great amount of respect for him. ... When Obama left, he left. It just went together,” said Hinton’s sister, Vanessa Hinton Jordan.

“What really illustrated what Greg was able to accomplish was looking at the range of diverse faces of people who stood behind President Obama when he spoke during his second presidential campaign,” Hinton Jordan said. “Greg told me that was the result of hard work, that was not by accident.”

Mr. Hinton was a graduate of Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Bronzeville and the University of Illinois. He earned a master’s degree in human resources management from Loyola University Chicago.

He worked as a human resources and staffing executive with Pepsi Cola General Bottlers, Abbott and U.S. Cellular Corp. before tackling diversity in national politics.

“He was most proud of his ability to help people become successful,” Hinton Jordan said. 

Mr. Hinton is survived by sons Kyle Hinton, Christopher Britto, Greg Brookins Hinton and daughter Arifa Brookins Hinton, as well as two granddaughters.

Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Leak and Sons Funeral Home, 7838 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

A wake is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St. A funeral service will begin at noon.

A memorial celebration will be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 6 at Haven Entertainment Center, 930 E. 43rd St.

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