John Payton, 'Champion of Equality,' Remembered
The Blog of Legal Times - almost 6 years
To attempt to summarize the accomplishments of the late John Payton, former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, would be like using a thimble to "try to empty an ocean," Vernon Jordan Jr., a senior member of the LDF board, said this afternoon at a memorial in Payton's honor.
Jordan was among approximately 1,000 colleagues, friends, family and other mourners who filled a ballroom at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center today to honor Payton, 65, who died March 22 of a brief illness. Speakers heralded Payton's triumphs in court, his commitment to social justice and equality around the world, and the influence he had on hundreds of attorneys over more than three decades as a mentor.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. recalled meeting Payton shortly after the two had graduated from law school in the late 1970s. It was obvious that Payton, who earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977, “had big plans, bold ideas and limitless...
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