Long moved with his family to the South Side of Chicago when he was young. He attended night classes while working at a string of low-paid jobs during the Great Depression. He returned to Alabama to enroll at Talladega College. He earned notice as a skilled debater and was also active in sports. He ran track and played baseball, football and basketball and also worked odd jobs. He majored in psychology and graduated cum laude 1935. He went on to earn a master of arts at Hartford Seminary and was accepted as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan.
In Ann Arbor, Long was introduced to the research of Fisk University president Charles S. Johnson. He assisted with Johnson's research into race relations in Louisiana. He was invited to join the faculty at Fisk after completing his doctorate and soon was tapped to head the Human Relations Institute of the American Missionary Association there. Among his research projects was an influential study on racially-discriminatory housing residential real-estate covenants which he completed in 1949.
Long was chosen to succeed Arthur Gray as president of his alma mater, Talladega College, in 1964 and inaugurated the following year. In 1970 he was tapped to head the United Negro College Fund. During his tenure the slogan "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste" was adopted.
- "Herman H. Long" (August 29, 2014) Wikipedia - accessed April 22, 2015