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The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.

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Information about The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.

Profile image of The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
State Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Gray
Favorite Food:
Collard Greens, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Galveston, Texas
Favorite Quote:
If You Can’t Make It In Houston You Can’t Make It Anywhere.

Birthplace

Born:
4/28/1942
Birth Location:
Houston, Texas

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
State Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Gray
Favorite Food:
Collard Greens, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Galveston, Texas
Favorite Quote:
If You Can’t Make It In Houston You Can’t Make It Anywhere.

Birthplace

Born:
4/28/1942
Birth Location:
Houston
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Biography

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. was born on April 28, 1942 in Houston, Texas to Malinda Terrell Peavy and John W. Peavy, Sr. Peavy graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1960, where he began his lifelong engagement in local politics as a member of the Young Democrats of Harris County. He then enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his B.A. degree in business administration with an emphasis in accountancy in 1964. Peavy worked for Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson’s office as an undergraduate student, and later as a White House staffer during Johnson’s presidency. In 1967, Peavy received his J.D. degree from the Howard University School of Law.

Upon graduating from law school, Peavy returned to Houston, and opened a private law practice focused on criminal and civil cases. In 1967, he joined the Harris County Community Action Association as an associate senior coordinator; and, in 1969, he became an executive assistant to Harris County Judge William Elliot. He then worked as an expert for the American Bar Association’s Project Home, where he handled real estate cases for the NAACP. Funded by the Ford Foundation, the program provided legal and technical assistance to federal housing programs. Peavy also served on the Houston City Council. In 1973, Judge William Elliott appointed Peavy as justice of the peace for a newly formed, majority-black district in Harris County. He was later elected for a full term in 1974, serving until 1977 when he was appointed by Governor Dolph Briscoe as judge of the 246th District Court. There, he presided over family law cases, and helped reform the family court system through his endorsement of mediation programs within the court system in 1985. In 1990, Peavy was placed in charge of family law courts for all of Harris County. Peavy retired from his district court judgeship in 1994.

Peavy was a member of the Houston Area Urban League, the NAACP, and the U.S.-China Friendship Association. He also served as the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas. In 2018, Peavy was honored with a historic portrait at the Harris County District Civil Courthouse.

Peavy and his wife, Diane Massey, have four children.

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 2, 2016.

See how The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes the U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned all-white primary elections
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls the discrimination against black attorneys
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls the rivalry between the black high schools in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his interest in business
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his early awareness of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his influences at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his political activities during high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers working as an aide at the White House
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Louis E. Martin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his experiences in the White House
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Stokely Carmichael and Henry "Hank" Thomas, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Stokely Carmichael and Henry "Hank" Thomas, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his experiences at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his influences at the Howard University School of Law
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his time at the Howard University School of Law
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers joining the Harris County Community Action Association
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role in the Harris County Community Action Association
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the issues addressed by the Harris County Community Action Association
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes the accomplishments of the Harris County Community Action Association
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the local leaders involved with the Harris County Community Action Association
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role as the executive assistant to Judge William Elliot
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his appointment as a justice of the peace
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role as a justice of the peace
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his challenges as a justice of the peace
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his first election as justice of the peace
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his experiences as a family law judge
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his retirement from the judicial profession
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers being acquitted of bribery charges
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his experiences as a family law judge
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about the death of Sandra Bland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his recent business venture
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls incidents of racism from his judicial career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his judicial philosophy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. narrates his photographs