Why Does John Boyd Refer To Himself As Dr.?

John Boyd is the president of the National Black Farmer’s Association and has been the main media face of the Pigford settlement for over a decade. He’s been featured on numerous TV shows and in print. He’a been lauded by members of the Congressional Black Caucus and often appears beside them in public appearences. He’s been recognized by President Obama and was present at the private signing ceremony when the Pigford II settlement was signed.

Here’s a question that should be simple to answer — does he actually have a doctorate that allows him to refer to himself in professional situations ad Dr. John Boyd?

Hours of research show many contradictions in the way Boyd refers to himself but so far, I’ve found no evidence whatsoever that Boyd ever received any degree, either earned or honorary, much less any doctorate.

In testimony before the House of Representatives in 2008, he refers to himself as Dr. John Boyd .

But Boyd’s bio from Gale Contemporary Black Biography says the hollowing.

Education: Attended Southside Community College, 1983, and Clemson Univ., 1984-85.

Boyd’s Wikipedia entry makes no mention at all of any kind of doctorate nor does his biography on The Huffington Post.

Boyd’s own personal page refers to him as Dr. but there’s no mention of a doctorate of any kind on his biography page on the same site, despite a long list of his accomplishments. One of those listed accomplishments is thsat he was”vetted by President Obama’s transition team as a candidate for Secretary of Agriculture“.

When Anderson Cooper 360 brought in John Boyd to call Steve King a racist for questioning the numbers in Pigford, Cooper referred to him as Dr. three times. CNN describes the segment as…

“Rep. Steve King and Dr. John Boyd face off over proposed settlements for black farmers and whether fraud is a problem.”

This video report says that Boyd has a PhD in Agricultural Economics.

Maybe one degree that I can’t find any record of isn’t enough — let’s make it two! The Washington Post, in an article on Boyd, says he “didn’t attend college but has received two honorary degrees “

The announcement for Boyd’s recent press conference refers to him as Dr. John Boyd and he referred to that way at the press conference.

Yes, I haven’t seen a single article, press release or other information that shows where, when or why John Boyd began calling himself Dr. John Boyd.

I have left several messages for Boyd, sent him an email and received no response.

I spoke to Georgia farmer Lucious Abrams, who has known Boyd for over fifteen years.  Iasked why Boyd refers to himself as Dr. — Mr. Abrams’s told me “Well, that’s the million dollar question.” Abrams said he has no idea why Boyd began calling himself Doctor.

(Thanks to Laura and Mandy for their research on this.)


  1. Boyd is simply following the lead of one of his mentors:
    Dr. Idi Amin, DA DA


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