Hill Harper Renaissance Man

Hill Harper’s list of accomplishments reads like that of a renaissance man of bygone days. Hill, who rose to fame while on the CBS drama CSI: NY, has starred in various popular television shows, off-Broadway plays, films, and now plays Dr. Marcus Andrews on ABC’s The Good Doctor. Hill is also part of one of the oldest and most respected traveling theater troupes, Boston’s Black Folk Theater Company. His bankability as a leading man established—with awards and nominations aplenty, including three NAACP Image Awards for his role in CSI: NY—the actor also has impressive education credentials. He graduated manga cum laude from Brown University with a BA, and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and also earned a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government.

The man is ridiculously busy and while his father—noted as one of the first black practicing anesthesiologists in the country—might have had something to do with his work ethic, Hill has continuously surprised his admirers. In spite of his fame as an actor and his various notable degrees, Hill has frequently appeared at inner-city schools across the country to motivate kids to chase after their own success. In his four New York Times self-help bestsellers, Hill focuses on doing just so.

Despite the actor and activist’s own battles, one of which was with thyroid cancer, Hill has used his obstacles to create something positive. In 2012, President Barack Obama named Hill the President’s Cancel Panel, a committee aimed at developing and executing programs to help battle cancer. Impressed yet? In 2015, Hill adopted his son Pierce, whom he has referred to on ABC News as “the biggest blessing of my life.” These days, Hill continues his quest to make the world a better place, and his Manifest Your Destiny Foundation does just so with a focus on empowering underserved youth through grants, scholarships, and mentorship programs.

Fast forward to today and Hill’s love affair with Detroit. While he fell for the Motor City while on set there, Hill cannot seem to leave a place without leaving a permanent mark. In this case, Hill purchased the historic and landmarked English Tudor-Style Charles T. Fisher Mansion. Built in 1922 by architect George D. Mason for Charles and Sara Fisher, the 18,000-square-foot home is an incredibly beautiful property replete with 14 bedrooms, sprawling grounds, and historical perks such as a chapel and a prohibition speakeasy and liquor vault! In true Hill fashion though, the philanthropist dedicated his home for use as the Junior League of Detroit’s biennial Designers’ Show House, which ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is participating as the event’s official national media sponsor. The proceeds from the show house will benefit the JLD’s Project EAT (Education, Access and Tools) community impact initiative to support and provide families with the opportunity to eat healthy together. In a show of solidarity for his new adopted city, after the show house renovation, Hill will continue to open the Fisher mansion to the community, and specifically students, artists, and educators to share his belief that Detroit’s historic properties should be treasured. “The creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the people in Detroit and the state of Michigan is truly inspiring,” Harper shared. “I am proud to own a beautiful historic home in this great state and energized city.”

While we highly recommend visiting the show house this coming fall (who doesn’t love design for a good cause?), while you are there, you might want to take a detour to the Roasting Plant—artisan coffee roasters in downtown Detroit opened by, yes, you guessed it, Hill. Is there anything the man cannot do? For more information on the Detroit Show House and tickets click here.

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