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Charles T. Duncan

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Information about Charles T. Duncan

Profile image of Charles T. Duncan

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Government Lawyer
Law Professor
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Boating
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/31/1924
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Government Lawyer
Law Professor
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Boating
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/31/1924
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Charles T. Duncan is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Charles Duncan was born in Washington, D.C., on October 31, 1924, the only child of his mother, a teacher, and his father, a physician. After starting his education in the D.C. public school system, Duncan attended Mount Hermon Preparatory School for Boys in the tenth grade. After graduation, Duncan went on to Dartmouth College, where he graduated cum laude in 1947. During his time at Dartmouth, Duncan had served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1945 to 1946. He went on to study law at Harvard Law School, graduating in 1950.

Duncan began his legal practice in New York, but by 1953 he had moved back to Washington, D.C., to practice with the law firm of Reeves, Robinson & Duncan. While there, he worked on the second brief presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. During that time, Duncan was a lecturer at Howard University Law School between 1954 and 1960. In 1961, Duncan became the principal assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and in 1965, he was appointed the first general counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He then went to work for the District of Columbia as corporation counsel, where he oversaw all of the legal affairs of the district and was second in line to the mayor. Duncan returned to private practice in 1970 to work for the firm of Epstein, Friedman, Duncan & Medalie.

Returning to Howard University in 1974, Duncan became dean of Howard University's School of Law, a position he held until 1977. He continued to teach for another year before returning to private practice in 1978, and in 1984 he joined the firm of Reid & Priest as a partner, serving as senior counsel for the firm from 1990 to 1994. Appointed by the secretary of state to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in 1994, he lived in the Hague in the Netherlands until leaving the post in 2000. Currently, Duncan works as a senior trustee for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Duncan has served on the board of directors of several companies, including Proctor & Gamble and Eastman Kodak. He is a former trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society and has served on the boards of the Washington Urban League and the Columbia Hospital for Women, among others. Duncan's first wife, Dorothy, with whom he had one son, died in 1972. He and his wife, Pamela, reside in Maryland.

Duncan passed away on May 4, 2004.

See how Charles T. Duncan is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Duncan's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Duncan lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Duncan describes his family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Duncan describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Duncan describes his childhood activities and neighborhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Duncan talks about his grade school years in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Duncan talks about the high caliber of education he received as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Duncan talks about his experience at Mount Hermon Preparatory School for Boys in Gills, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Duncan describes Annette Eaton and Mary Delaney Evans, two of his teachers at Patterson Junior High School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Duncan talks about his high school experience and his decision to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Duncan reflects upon his experience at Mount Hermon Preparatory School for Boys in Gill, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Duncan describes his social life at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Duncan talks about his service in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Duncan talks about his captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Duncan talks about his decision to become a lawyer and his religious upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Duncan talks about his studies at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt.1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Duncan talks about his studies at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt.2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Duncan talks about his limited prospects after graduating from law school in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Duncan talks about his first job at Rosenman Goldmark Colin & Kaye in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Duncan talks about the ten years he spent in private practice in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Duncan talks about his tenure in the Kennedy Administration as Principal Assistant United States Attorney
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Duncan talks about President John F. Kennedy's state funeral and why he left the U.S. Attorney's Office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Duncan talks about his role as General Counsel at the EEOC
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Duncan talks about working at the D.C. Corporation Counsel's Office and the riots that followed the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Duncan talks about riots in Washington, D.C. after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Walter Washington administration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Duncan talks about the Poor People's Campaign in 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Duncan talks about his role as the Director of Public Safety in Washington D.C. under Mayor-Commissioner Walter Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Duncan talks about his tenure as the Dean of Howard Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Duncan talks about his appointment to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Duncan talks about cases he heard on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Duncan describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Duncan reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Duncan describes a memorable experience in the U.S. Naval Reserve
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Duncan talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Duncan narrates his photographs