John Hope Franklin
America’s great African American historian and author, John Hope Franklin was born on January 2, 1915 in Rentiesville, Oklahoma. Franklin may be best known as the author of “From Slavery to Freedom, A History of African Americans” published originally in 1947. In 1935 Franklin received his undergraduate degree from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He would later obtain his masters in 1936 and doctorate in 1941 from Harvard University. As an educator he served at Fisk University, St. Augustine’s College, North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University), Howard University, Brooklyn College, the University of Chicago and the University of Cambridge. Franklin would end his career as an educator at Duke University in Durham, NC beginning in 1983 as a James B. Duke Professor of History, as a professor emeritus and from 1985 until 1992 as a Professor of Legal History. President Bill Clinton honored Franklin with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 and also appointed him in 1997 to chair a seven member advisory board for the President’s “Initiative on Race”. Franklin died on March 25, 2009 in Durham, North Carolina at age 94.