Remembering Sir Michael Berry

Metro Detroit has lost a great leader. At the age of 95, Sir Michael Berry has passed but leaves a very long and successful legacy that will remain imprinted in this community for generations to come. The Michael Berry amphitheater in the Administrative Services and Conference Center building is named in his honor.

Born in 1920, Michael Berry grew up with eight siblings raised by their Lebanese immigrant parents in Highland Park, Michigan. After graduating from Fordson High School, he went to what was then known as Fordson Junior College, or as we know it today, Henry Ford College. From there Berry attended Wayne State University, and eventually, the Detroit College of Law.

Berry went on to create a list of achievements that is as extensive as it is remarkable. He was a wonderful public administrator and an international humanitarian, but what he may be most remembered for in this city are his tireless efforts to improve the lives of Arab-Americans. Innumerable people can attest to the truly wonderful actions he took in order to help others. Among them are former Representative John Dingell who said of Michael Berry on his 90th birthday, “[He] has devoted countless hours toward improving the lives of Arab-Americans across the nation, and building bridges of understanding between Americans of Arab descent and those of us with other ethnic roots.”

Michael Berry’s contributions and hard work in this city and others will continue to make a difference for a very long time to come.