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Charles Ogletree

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Information about Charles Ogletree

Profile image of Charles Ogletree

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Lawyer
Law Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Holiday Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
The Problem of the 20th Century is the Problem of the Color Line. - W.E.B. Du Bois

Birthplace

Born:
12/31/1952
Birth Location:
Merced, California

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Lawyer
Law Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Holiday Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
The Problem of the 20th Century is the Problem of the Color Line. - W.E.B. Du Bois

Birthplace

Born:
12/31/1952
Birth Location:
Merced
See how Charles Ogletree is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Outspoken civil rights attorney and educator Charles Ogletree was born December 31, 1952, in Merced, California. Ogletree graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a B.A. in 1974 and an M.A. one year later, both in political science. At Stanford, his civil activism was born. Ogletree attended Harvard Law School, where he worked as editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and on the board of the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Program. Earning his J.D. in 1978, Ogletree was also national chairperson of the Black American Law Students Association.

Upon graduation from Harvard Law School, Ogletree began his career working for the Washington, D.C., Public Defender's Office. At the time of his departure in 1985, he had risen to the position of deputy director. Between 1982 and 1984, Ogletree began teaching law as an adjunct professor at both Antioch Law School and American University School of Law. In 1985, Ogletree became a partner in Jessamy, Fort & Ogletree, and remains today counsel to Jessamy, Fort & Botts. In 1989, Ogletree returned to his alma mater as an assistant professor of law. He was also given responsibility for overseeing Harvard Law School's trial advocacy workshop. Today, Ogletree works as faculty director of clinical programs, associate dean for clinical programs and the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law.

Ogletree's career has focused on securing equal rights for everyone. He was on the team that represented Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation proceedings. He is also active in the area of reparations to the descendants of slaves, such as the survivors and descendants of the Tulsa race riot of 1921. Ogletree has filed suit on behalf of the survivors of that incident in federal court.

Ogletree continues to serve as a television commentator and moderator. He is chairman of the Stanford University Task Force on Minority Alumni Relations, a founding member of the Harvard Law School Black Alumni Association and chairman of the Southern Center for Human Rights Committee. Ogletree has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by The National Law Journal. He also is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees including the NAACP's Universal Humanitarian Award.

Ogletree and his wife, Pamela, have two children. They live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

See how Charles Ogletree is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Ogletree's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about his mother's high school experience and the community of Merced, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree describes his mother's community activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree describes his maternal grandparents' work ethic and their house
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree describes his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree describes his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree explains how family fishing trips taught him responsibility and helped him develop critical thinking skills
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Ogletree recalls conversations with his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Ogletree talks about his father and his parents' wedding
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Ogletree describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree remembers experiences at Weaver Elementary School in Merced, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about his fourth grade teacher and the principal of Galen Clark Elementary School in Merced, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Merced, California, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Merced, California, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about living with his grandparents and in foster homes throughout his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about returning to his childhood homes in the 1990s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about his responsibilities as the oldest child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree describes his family's connection to Merced, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree talks about being encouraged to run for student body president in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree explains how school and reading helped him mentally escape his economic circumstances
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree recalls his first visit to and his decision to attend Stanford University in Stanford, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree talks about his activities as president of the Black Student Union at Stanford University and meeting HistoryMaker Angela Davis
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree recalls his decision to run for student body president at Stanford University and making a political statement at the 1972 Rose Bowl
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Ogletree's interview, session two
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about the culture of black consciousness at Stanford University and in Northern California in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree talks about Dr. St. Clair Drake and traveling to the Sixth Pan-African Congress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about traveling to the Sixth Pan-African Congress and Queen Mother Audley Moore's ideas on reparations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree describes his relationship with St. Clair Drake at Stanford University in Stanford, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about organizing a debate between physicist William Shockley and psychologist Cedric Clark at Stanford University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree remembers organizing a black resistance graduation and walking out of the main graduation ceremony at Stanford University in 1975
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about the legacy of Stanford University's 1975 black resistance graduation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree talks about writing his senior thesis at Stanford University on Zimbabwe and South Africa
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about the end of apartheid in South Africa and his honors senior thesis at Stanford University in Stanford, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about his decision to get a master's degree in political science from Stanford University and to enroll in Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree explains his views on economic sanctions against South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about violence against the black population during the apartheid regime in South Africa
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about St. Clair Drake's influence on him as an undergraduate at Stanford University in Stanford, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree explains why he did not drop out of Stanford University in Stanford, California as an undergraduate
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about his decision to apply to Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree recalls how his wife influenced his decision to attend Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree recalls driving through South Boston, Massachusetts during the busing riots of the late 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree describes the East Cambridge, Massachusetts community where he lived with his family while at Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree talks about the family backgrounds of his classmates at Harvard Law School and the frustrating aspects of studying law
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about serving as counsel for a Prison Legal Assistance Project case while a student at Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about working for Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in San Francisco, California during summer 1976
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about professors he took courses with at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about professors he took courses with at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about working for the NAACP during the Boston busing crisis of the late 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree talks about his second year at Harvard Law School and being introduced to critical legal studies
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree recalls meeting with Archibald Cox to discuss Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree talks about meeting with Wade McCree and an amicus brief submitted in the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about the influence of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978 on his legal perspective
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about the origins of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about the origins of the Harvard Plan and origins of the CLEO Program
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree lists notable African American graduates from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree talks about George Lewis Ruffin and Charles Hamilton Houston
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about Charles Hamilton Houston's influence on Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree explains how Houstonian principles and strategy informed the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954 case
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Ogletree's interview, session three
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about his decision to work for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree talks about a court case that illustrated the interconnections between law and politics
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree explains his success as a public defender and his legal philosophy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree describes a trial where the jury threw his client a party after they acquitted him
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about his relationship with his clients and the philosophy of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about black professionals and black judges in Washington, D.C. during the late 1970s and 1980s
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about his response to losing a case and winning a memorable murder trial
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree explains his mentality as a public defender, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about evaluating his role as a public defender after his sister's murder in 1982
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree explains his mentality as a public defender, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about his sister's unsolved murder
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about the circumstances informing his decision to teach at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree explains why he joined the faculty at Harvard Law School in 1985 rather than continue as a public defender
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about the struggle to diversify the Harvard Law School faculty
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree recalls his first teaching experience at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about his work ethic
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree explains how his work as a public defender informed his teaching style and courses at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about conversing with other Harvard Law School professors
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree compares his experience on the faculty of Harvard Law School to HistoryMaker Derrick Bell's experience
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree explains his Harvard Law School tenure article
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about his friendship with Charles Fried and his ability to foster relationships despite differences of opinion
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about the social dynamic between Harvard Law School faculty and visiting professors
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree talks about the Criminal Justice Institute and representing HistoryMaker Walter Fauntroy and other apartheid protestors in 1984
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about Randall Robinson, founder of TransAfrica
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about the origins of his interest in international relations
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree recalls the series of 1984 demonstrations at the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about the 1984 protests to end apartheid and to establish a national holiday in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about the activism of Reverend Leon Sullivan and HistoryMaker Harry Belafonte
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about the origins and development of TransAfrica
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about the relationship between Randall Robinson's TransAfrica and the Ronald Reagan administration
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about the legal support behind the 1984 protests in Washington, D.C. to end South African apartheid
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about representing Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas' 1991 Senate Confirmation Hearing
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree recalls a conversation with his daughter about Anita Hill's testimony at Clarence Thomas' 1991 Senate Confirmation Hearing
  • Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about Anita Hill's legal counsel and Senate Judiciary Committee members for Clarence Thomas' 1991 Confirmation Hearing
  • Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about Senator Edward Kennedy's role during Clarence Thomas' 1991 Senate Confirmation Hearing
  • Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree talks about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas' testimony during Thomas' 1991 Senate Confirmation Hearing
  • Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about witnesses in Clarence Thomas' 1991 Senate Confirmation Hearing
  • Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about responses to Anita Hill's testimony during Clarence Thomas' 1991 Senate Confirmation Hearing
  • Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about HistoryMaker and President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court appointments
  • Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about Anita Hill's relationship to the Women's Movement
  • Tape: 14 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about the early staff of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 14 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree recalls convincing Dean Robert Clark to support the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 14 Story: 10 - Charles Ogletree talks about the reputation of Harvard Law School's Criminal Justice Institute and advising students
  • Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about lobbying Harvard Law School Dean Robert Clark for tenured positions in the Criminal Justice Institute
  • Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about being granted tenure at Harvard Law School and explains how the charges of plagiarism against him were resolved
  • Tape: 15 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree describes HistoryMaker Derrick Bell's departure from Harvard Law School in 1990
  • Tape: 15 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree lists tenure track African American faculty at Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 15 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree reflects upon the lack of African American males in law and professional schools
  • Tape: 15 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about 'Beyond the Rodney King Story,' a book supported by the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 15 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about the aftermath of the attack on Rodney King in 1991
  • Tape: 15 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about representing Desiree Washington and Tupac Shakur
  • Tape: 16 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree describes his relationship with Archibald Cox and Alan Dershowitz
  • Tape: 16 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about his involvement in the reparations movement
  • Tape: 16 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree notes the success of the reparations movement for people of African descent in other parts of the world
  • Tape: 16 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree talks about his 2004 book, 'All Deliberate Speed'
  • Tape: 16 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree explains his views on affirmative action and talks about a former student
  • Tape: 16 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about Alan Haymon and his support for the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice
  • Tape: 16 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and HistoryMaker Oliver Hill
  • Tape: 16 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree explains how the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice honors Houston's legacy
  • Tape: 17 Story: 1 - Charles Ogletree talks about First Lady Michelle Obama
  • Tape: 17 Story: 2 - Charles Ogletree talks about HistoryMaker President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 17 Story: 3 - Charles Ogletree talks about his relationship with HistoryMaker Barack Obama
  • Tape: 17 Story: 4 - Charles Ogletree explains the origin of his nickname, "Tree"
  • Tape: 17 Story: 5 - Charles Ogletree talks about his reputation
  • Tape: 17 Story: 6 - Charles Ogletree talks about his plans for the future
  • Tape: 17 Story: 7 - Charles Ogletree talks about ideas for future book projects
  • Tape: 17 Story: 8 - Charles Ogletree talks about his family background and Harvard Law School mentees
  • Tape: 17 Story: 9 - Charles Ogletree reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 17 Story: 10 - Charles Ogletree talks about nutrition and spoiling his grandchildren
  • Tape: 17 Story: 11 - Charles Ogletree recalls experiences from the early years of him and his wife's relationship