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Frank M. Johnson Biography

Produced on October 30, 1918, in Haleyville, Alabama, Frank M. Johnson was an attorney before becoming a state national judge. He made important opinions during his tenure holding racial segregation unconstitutional and which favored African American voting equity, after becoming known for his prison and hospital reforms. A receiver of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he expired on July 23, 1999. Among a farming community, his dad was likewise a teacher and probate judge, and the youthful Johnson pursued a career in law at the same time after attending a Mississippi military academy, finally graduating in the University of Alabama School of Law in 1943.

In 1938, Johnson had wed fellow pupil Ruth Jenkins, who also hailed from his home county of Winston; the couple after adopted a kid, James Curtis. After corralling support for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential election, he was named U.S. attorney for Northern Alabama in 1953. Subsequently, in 1955, Johnson was named by Eisenhower to take on a national judge place in the state’s central district. Therefore Johnson and his family relocated to Montgomery.

Johnson’s steadfast belief in conforming to law found the judge becoming an instrumental power in crucial Civil Rights Movement opinions. He ruled for desegregating a host of public spaces in Alabama, as seen with all the landmark school-based selection Lee v. Macon County Board of Education (1963), and supported African American voting rights, with his choices openly opposed by former university schoolmate, Alabama Governor George Wallace. In a different landmark move, Johnson determinedly pushed for deadlocked jurors in the future to your verdict in the civil rights case of slain activist Viola Gregg Liuzzo; her killers so received jail terms.

Johnson held fast to his opinions, though he faced ostracism from much of his region’s white community and downright violence, along with his mom’s house firebombed and crosses burned on the property of his house. He along with his family were so put under protection of federal marshals.

During the 1970s, Johnson continued his reforms by enhancing the horrible states found in Alabama prisons and mental health associations. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter nominated Johnson to head the FBI, but the judge needed to pull away because of heart surgery. He was afterwards named to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Johnson received a host of honours during his life, such as the Thurgood Marshall Award in the American Bar Association in 1993 as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton in 1995. Johnson expired on July 23, 1999, in Montgomery.

Frank M. Johnson Biography