||Atlanta Journal-Constitution touts Fred Vinson, "Dead Fred" tradition
RELEASED: Sept. 18, 2003
DANVILLE, KYIn some circles, Centre graduate Fred Vinson, Class of 1909, hasn't received a lot of respect and his accomplishments aren't remembered.
But the late Chief Justice of the United States is in the midst of a reputation makeover.
An opinion piece in the Sunday, Sept. 14, edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that Vinson helped pave the way for the monumental Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision. Vinson passed away about six months before the ruling that signaled the end of educational segregation.
Scholars in the article argue that rulings by Vinson played a key role in unraveling prior court precedents buttressing segregation. Vinson helped lead the court to its decision on Brown, they argue, and to other civil rights reforms.
"Vinson is a largely forgotten figure who was never given the credit he was due," said Robert George, a Princeton University law professor and constitutional scholar. "He is someone who deserves to be remembered."
Vinson is, of course, remembered on his alma mater's campus. One student, May graduate T.J. Brown, is so fond of Vinson (his fraternity brother) that he has taken Vinson's portrait, affectionately known on campus as "Dead Fred," on a world tour with him this year.
To see the Journal-Constitution story on Brown and "Dead Fred", go to http://www.ajc.com/print/content/epaper/editions/sunday/issue_f336eedbf0ec52bf0049.html.
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