Housing developer Elzie Higginbottom, Jr. was born on November 24, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to Elzie Higginbottom, Sr. and Katherine Skaggs Higginbottom. His parents instilled entrepreneurial and service values within him.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1965 with his B.A. degree in Agricultural Economics and was an accomplished athlete in men’s track and field. In 1963, he was named NCAA outdoor All-American, placing fifth in the 440-yard dash in national competition. He also won Big Ten indoor titles in the 440. Higginbottom was a three-time Big Ten champion, anchoring the mile relay to a conference title in 1962. He also held the University of Wisconsin records in the indoor and outdoor 440-yard dash for more than 20 years. Higginbottom was later honored by the university with the “distinguished alumni award.” All of his success as a track athlete taught him how to focus and discipline himself, which proved invaluable in his real estate endeavors.
Higginbottom was hired by Baird & Warner Real Estate in Chicago, Illinois. While at Baird & Warner, he created and directed the Government Assisted Multifamily Finance Division, producing an annual loan volume of $50 million to $100 million for twelve consecutive years. By 1974, Higginbottom was promoted to mortgage vice president in charge of F.H.A. financing. In 1983, Higginbottom left Baird & Warner and started East Lake Management & Development Corp., which grew to become the largest minority-owned real estate company in the State of Illinois. Mr. Higginbottom is committed to providing affordable, safe and comfortable housing to Chicagoans. He is also the first minority developer of hi-rises in the Chicago Loop and River North area including 200 N. Dearborn and 1250 N. LaSalle Street. He has developed and managed several thousand units for his own company as well as for the Chicago Housing Authority and others.
He is a board member for After School Matters in Chicago and a Trustee for Illinois Institute of Technology. He is married to Deborah Larsen and they have four children.more » « less