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Zamora, Tony, 1930-2020



  • Existence: February 16, 1930 - July 2, 2020

Biographical Information

Tony Zamora was born in 1930 and raised in Chicago. He graduated from Pointe Du Sable High School. After high school, Zamora’s successful jazz band in Chicago led to his position as director of the Afro-American Cultural Program at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. In 1973, Zamora was appointed Director of the Purdue Univesity Black Cultural Center (BCC). Under his mentorship, BCC students originated the BCC’s Black Voices of Inspiration, the Jahari Dance Troupe, the Haraka Writers, and the Purdue Black Alumni Association. Zamora invited many famous African American authors, poets, and leaders to visit and speak at the BCC.

Zamora led the Black Cultural Center at Purdue for twenty-two years. He was a well-known jazz musician and collected African art with his wife, Betty. Among his many awards are the Cultural Arts Award from the University of Illinois Black Alumni Association, special recognition from the Purdue Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff, and Sagamore of the Wabash. The Antonio Zamora Endowment Fund to promote student leadership at the Black Cultural Center is named in his honor.


MSO 1, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.


Antonio "Tony" Zamora Obituary. Lafayette Journal and Courier. Accessed July 24, 2020.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Purdue University African American Students, Alumni and Faculty collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 154
Scope and Contents The Purdue University African American Students, Alumni and Faculty collection donated by Alexandria Cornelius, was likely gathered during her research on African American students, alumni and faculty at Purdue University. Historical information was gathered from numerous newspapers, Debris yearbooks, directories, statistics, and questionnaires sent to black alumni. Also included are Black Cultural Center newsletters, along with programs and flyers from the Black Cultural Center and The African...
Dates: 1961 - 2023; Majority of material found within 1993 - 1994