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Timothy N. Thurber

lawyer and U.S. senator, was born Edward William Brooke III in Washington, D.C., to Edward Brooke Jr., an attorney for the Veterans Administration, and Helen Seldon. Growing up in an integrated middle-class neighborhood, Brooke readily absorbed his mother's instruction to respect others and treat all people equally. The Brookes lived relatively free from much of the racism endured by other African Americans. “We never felt hated,” his mother recalled (Cutler, 14). Brooke attended Dunbar High School, an elite public school with many middle- and upper-class African American students and then went on to Howard University, where he became president of the school's chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and earned his bachelor's degree in 1941 Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor later that year Brooke was drafted into an all black combat unit in the army He served in many roles including as a defender of those ...

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George White

lawyer, politician, and writer. Born and raised in Woodrow Wilson's Washington, D.C., Edward William Brooke III proved to be a trailblazer who built a legal and political career that exceeded the socially imposed limits on blacks in America. At the height of his career, Brooke represented a social justice wing of the Republican Party that has disappeared. Even in his retirement he continues to be a pioneer as an advocate for cancer detection in men.

Brooke grew up in a middle-class household; his father was a lawyer for the Veterans Administration. Brooke attended the segregated public schools of Washington, graduating from Dunbar High School in 1936 and from Howard University in 1941 Shortly thereafter the U S Army drafted Brooke During his tenure in the military he served with the 366th Combat Infantry Regiment and defended enlisted men in military court cases Following the deployment of ...

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The only son of Helen Seldon and lawyer Edward W. Brooke, Edward Brooke III was born in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Howard University in 1941 with a chemistry degree. A United States Army captain, he fought in Italy in World War II (1939–1945) and received the Bronze Star and combat infantryman's badge. After the war he earned a degree from Boston University's School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review.

Brooke's political career began in 1950 when he left his private law practice to run unsuccessfully for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 1961 newly elected Republican governor John Volpe appointed Brooke chairman of the Boston Finance Commission. He resigned in 1963 when he was sworn in as Massachusetts attorney general, after winning the Republican nomination and election in 1962.

Known for his role as a crime fighter and an ...

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Robert Fay

Blanche Kelso Bruce's professional career followed the arc of Reconstruction history. Bruce escaped from slavery during the Civil War (1861–1865). He moved south after the war to capitalize on opportunities for economic and political advancement that were newly available to African Americans there. His political fortunes waned after the late 1870s, when Southern Democrats regained control of politics and blacks were again relegated to second-class status socially and politically.

Bruce was born a slave in rural Farmville, Virginia, but his childhood differed from that of most other slave children. His owner, Pettus Perkinson regarded him more as a son than as a slave A favored playmate of Perkinson s son Bruce was educated by the Perkinson tutor and rarely worked in the fields He lived in Missouri at the outbreak of the Civil War and escaped to Lawrence Kansas There he tried to enlist in the Union ...

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William C. Harris

a slave. The identity of his father is unknown, but he took the surname of the man who owned his mother before he was born. His childhood as a slave on a small plantation, first in Virginia, then briefly in Mississippi, and finally in Missouri did not significantly differ, as he later recalled, from that of the sons of whites. This relatively benign experience in slavery perhaps owed a great deal to the fact that he was the light-skinned favorite of a benevolent master and mistress. He shared a tutor with his master's son and thus obtained the education that prepared him for later success. During the Civil War, despite the benevolence of his owner, he fled to freedom in Kansas, but after slavery was abolished he returned to Missouri, where he reportedly established the first school in the state for blacks, at Hannibal.

After the war Bruce briefly attended ...

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Lois Kerschen

from Mississippi. Blanche Kelso Bruce, the son of a black mother and white planter father, was born into slavery in Prince Edward County, Virginia. He escaped in 1861 while in St. Louis and in 1869 went to Mississippi, where over time he served as a supervisor of elections, the tax collector, the superintendent of schools, the sergeant-at-arms of the Mississippi State senate, the county assessor, and a member of the Board of Levee Commissioners of the Mississippi River. His public service brought him sufficient wealth to buy a large plantation in Floreyville. Bruce sided with other prominent blacks in their belief that freedmen should earn the money to buy land rather than receive acreage as a form of compensation.

When asked in 1873 to head the Republican ticket as a candidate for governor because of his popularity as sheriff of Bolivar County Bruce declined Instead he was elected ...

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Heather Marie Stur

the thirty-sixth president of the United States, coming into office in November 1963 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A Democrat, Lyndon Baines Johnson was born and raised in rural Texas, and his experiences growing up shaped both his personality and his political outlook. He earned a teaching degree and worked as a teacher before embarking on a long political career, which included many terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in addition to the vice presidency and the presidency. Throughout his life Johnson was known for his persuasive skills and his ability to build coalitions and make strategic political friends. Although he was committed to addressing domestic problems, authorizing several pieces of civil rights legislation and making what he called the War on Poverty the focus of his domestic policy, he often is associated primarily with the escalation of the Vietnam War.

Johnson was born ...

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Samuel Brenner

lawyer, U.S. attorney general, U.S. senator, civil rights advocate, and presidential candidate. Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy, the energetic and enthusiastic younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and the older brother of longtime Massachusetts Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, was a civil servant who, although he had complicated and difficult relationships with several important African American leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., became increasingly liberal and devoted to the cause of civil rights after serving as attorney general in the 1960s.

Kennedy, born in Brookline, Massachusetts, was the seventh child of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy. Joseph Kennedy, who harbored enormous ambitions for his family, was a controversial figure accused of being—while serving from 1938 to 1940 as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom—an anti-Semite interested in appeasing Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany Having attended several private boarding schools Robert Kennedy served in the U S Navy ...

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Betty K. Koed

lawyer, activist, politician, and diplomat, was born Carol Elizabeth Moseley in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest of four children of Joseph J. Moseley, a police officer, and Edna A. Davie, a medical technician. She became involved in political activism at an early age; her first protest was a sit-in at a segregated restaurant while still at Parker High School in Chicago. At age sixteen, she marched with Martin Luther King Jr. to protest housing conditions in Chicago. Throughout her life, she sought to break down racial and gender barriers.

Moseley Braun earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1969. She graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1972 and passed the Illinois State Bar in 1973. That same year, she married attorney Michael Braun, and the couple had one son, Matthew They divorced ...

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Robert Fay

Hiram Revels, the son of former slaves, was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He studied at several seminaries in Indiana and Ohio before becoming a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). During the American Civil War Revels helped to organize African American regiments in Maryland and ...