Richard Dean Parsons was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 4, 1948. He is the current chairman of Citigroup and the former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner. He stepped down as CEO of Time Warner on December 31 2007 . Parsons graduated from the University of Hawaii; at 6'4" tall he played varsity basketball. He earned a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in 1971, coming top of his class.
Parsons, who is a prominent moderate African American Republican, served an internship at the New York State Legislature, at which time he was invited to work as a lawyer for the staff of the then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. When Rockefeller was appointed Vice President of the United States, in 1974, Parsons followed him to Washington D.C., where he worked directly with President Gerald Ford. He also met a deputy attorney general, Harold R. Tyler, and one of his aides, a young Rudolph W. Giuliani, with whom he was to be closely associated - supporting him in his campaign for New York mayor and heading his transitional council.
In 1977, Parsons returned to New York and became a partner after only two years at the Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler law firm; Working at the firm was Giuliani. During his eleven years at the firm he took on Happy Rockefeller, the widow of Nelson (who had died in 1979) as a high-profile client. In 1988, he was recruited to serve as chief operating officer of the Dime Bank by Harry W. Albright Jr., who was a former Rockefeller aide. He later became chairman and CEO and oversaw a merger with Anchor Savings Bank; gaining a substantial sum when the Dime Bank was demutualized.