ABC History

In 1974, Richard Allen Williams, MD, FACC founded the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) with 17 other dedicated medical professionals. Through their belief in the need to bring special attention to the adverse impact of cardiovascular disease on African Americans, the ABC has grown to over 2,000 healthcare, lay professionals, corporate members, and institutional members. Today, we continue to carry forward the mission and goals of the ABC “18.”

Dr. Richard Allen Williams served as ABC’s president for 10 years. He also became the first chairman of the Board of Directors and started the ABC Newsletter. The ABC established the endowed Dr. Richard Allen Williams Scholarship for Black Medical Students in his honor in 1980.  Read more about Dr. Williams here.

Download the ebook:  The Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. Historical Moments from the First 30 Years by Luther D. Clark, MD, FACC, FACP



ABC founded by Dr. Richard Allen Williams and 17 other physicians on November 18, 1974 in Dallas, Texas.


ABC's community health promotion programs were developed by Drs. Elijah Saunders and B. Waine Kong by organizing churches as high blood pressure control centers.


Dr. Elijah Saunders hires Dr. B. Waine Kong as ABC's Chief Executive Officer.


ABC holds its first Annual Scientific Session and Dr. Walter M. Booker, Sr. Symposium.


Annual Cardiology Fellows program created during the ABC presidency of Dr. Augustus Grant.


ABC began its regional program series through a grant from Dupont Pharma.


Fellowship programs in Electrophysiology and Interventional Cardiology was created; ABC moves into its new offices in downtown Atlanta, GA.


ABC convenes its inaugural Cardiovascular Summit and Congress of the Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases in African Americans.

ABC accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


ABC adopts its theme "Children Should Know Their Grandparents so They Can Become GREAT Grandparents Themselves."


ABC convenes its inaugural Symposium on Cardiovascular Disease in Women and its New Year's Symposium and Celebration; ABC celebrates its 25th Anniversary.


The millennium celebration was highlighted by ABC’s election of its first female president, Elizabeth Ofili, MD, MPH.

ABC's national headquarters relocated to Peachtree Dunwoody Road in Atlanta.


ABC's EpiCenter Community Programs division received the 2003 award for outstanding training and development of church-based Cardiovascular Wellness Centers as a partner with the REACH for
Wellness program.


The ABC starts Project Hope to help aid and bring awareness to Hurricane Katrina victims.

NitroMed releases BiDil, the first prescription medicine for African American patients. This was the result of the A-HeFT clinical trial, which was co-sponsored by the ABC. The trial concluded successfully in 2004. Anne Taylor, MD (Principal Investigator).


ABC launches the Super Weekends and Spirit of the Heart programs.

ABC moves its headquarters to Washington, DC.


ABC holds it inaugural Saving Hearts for Generations Awards Gala in National Harbor Maryland on October 22, 2010 (later renamed Spirit of the Heart Awards Dinner).


ABC holds its first Practice Management Symposium.


ABC starts the Harlem Heart Healthy Workshop Series.


ABC Introduces Clinical Trials Network.


ABC Leadership Announces Strategic Partnership to Increase Investigator Diversity in Clinical Trials.

ABC Develops New Cardiovascular Disease Registry to Support Care for Underserved.