Alonzo Herndon was born into slavery on June 26, 1858. He was the son of his white master. The farm where he worked on was located forty miles outside of Atlanta. He was seven when he became a free man after the Union won the civil war.
Alonzo owned three barber shops in Atlanta and one of his was said to be the largest and the best in the area. It served some of the most important people in the state like politicians, lawyers, judges and businessmen. Alonzo was very successful in barbering and was able to invest in real estate.
As Alonzo got wealthier, he went into personal insurance. In 1905 he purchased a mutual aid association. He then named it the Atlanta Mutual Aid Association and he was the the president and chief stock holder of his new insurance company. ^The company's assets expanded from $5,000 to more than $400,000 by 1922. The firm was successful enough to be able to expand into 12 different states.
Alonzo Herndon died on July 21, 1927. He was sixty nine years old. During his lifetime he had accomplished success in barbering, real estate and insurance. Alonzo was born a slave and wasn't able to read and worked hard and then had enough money to open up his first barbershop. From there he was able to open up two more barbershops and went into real estate and then into insurance.