RUSSELL LEE – Biography

Russell Lee was born in West Virginia and grew up in New York City. He was a musical prodigy from an early age and studied at Colorado Springs Conservatory of Music and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. He played drums with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra before moving into the realm of popular music.
In his lustrous career, Russell played shows, backed up or performed with many of the top entertainers in all of show business. They include Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Elvis, Tom Jones and Frank Sinatra to mention only a very few.

While traveling the world and enjoying enormous success as a musician, Russell saw, firsthand, the tragedy of hunger. So many of God’s children were going to bed hungry and Russell felt there was much he could do to right the wrong.

He founded and ran the Ecumenical Coalition of Concerned Americans (ECCA) from 1978-1985.

The organization raised over $10,000,000 and fed hundreds of thousands of people in its time. In running the organization, Russell demonstrated extraordinary fiscal acumen and responsibility by repaying all loans made to the organization months and sometimes years before the notes were due. Russell used his contacts and persuasion to put together a coalition of celebrities including Dennis Weaver, Harvey Korman, Valerie Harper, Pat Boone, Jack Lemmon, Lynda Carter, Pat Harrington and many more.

eHis efforts received numerous accolades from the government, clergy and public. Russell was asked to speak before Congress about domestic hunger and he and his organization are both officially recognized in the Federal Congressional Record. Russell met with Ronald Reagan and received his support for the ECCA.

More recently, Russell has turned his attention to the tragedy befalling so many of the youth in our communities. He knew there had to be something that could be done to combat the lure of gangs and street crime for young people. Russell believes that the promise of higher education is what will inspire many kids to turn away from the dead end street only gangs offer.

To that end, Russell Lee has begun The Fallen Hero Legacy Scholarship program in conjunction with another organization he founded called The Hero Appreciation Network. The Network is intended to recognize and honor this country’s servicemen and women, firefighters and law enforcement officers who have laid down their lives to secure our freedom and safety. And so, The Hero Appreciation Network awards $5,000 scholarships to worthy at-risk youth in our communities who have the desire to go to college or a vocational trade school and make the most of their lives. And each scholarship is awarded in the name of a Fallen Hero with the hopes that the recipient will conduct his or her life as a Living Memorial to the life of someone who cared for us.


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