Coleman, William Thaddeus, Jr.

Coleman, William Thaddeus, Jr., 1920–2017, African-American lawyer and U.S. cabinet official, b. Philadelphia, grad. Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1941, Harvard Law School, 1946. He clerked for Justice Frankfurter and worked in private practice in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. As a volunteer at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, he worked with its chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall, on a series of cases that were combined into Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans. (1954), which declared school segregation unconstitutional. Coleman was an assistant counsel to the Warren Commission (1964), which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy, and served as transportation secretary under President Ford (1975–77).

See his memoir, Counsel for the Situation (2010).

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