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Gabriella E. Morris

Foundation chief executive Gabriella E. Morris was born on March 26, 1956 in Houston, Texas to Elise LeNoir Morris and John E. Morris. After graduating from high school, Morris received her A.B. degree in architecture and urban planning, and a certificate in African American studies, from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey in 1978. She later earned her J.D. degree from the University of Texas Law School in Austin, Texas. Morris has also received certifications from Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program in corporate social responsibility, and from Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation.

Morris was hired as real estate council for The Southland Corporation in Dallas, Texas. She then became associate counsel of the Houston-based law firm of Baker and Botts in its securities, real estate and oil and gas practices. In 1985, she was hired by Prudential Financial as a regional counsel and associate general counsel for the company’s real estate operations. Morris then became president of the Prudential Foundation in 1994, and also served as vice president of community resources. In that position, Morris helped develop a number of community programs focused on education, including the Prudential Young Entrepreneurs Program, founded in 1999. She also helped form the New Jersey Statewide Education Summit, which aided the development of new education standards for the City of Newark and was influential in creating one of the first charter school lending programs in the nation. After over twenty years of service, Morris left Prudential in order to form her own consulting firm, Connective Advisors LLC. In 2014, she was named as the senior vice president of the UNICEF Bridge Fund.

In addition to her professional career, Morris has been involved in her community through membership in many organizations. She was a founding member of United States Artists, the Brick City Development Corporation, and the Newark Trust for Education. Morris also served as a board member for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Harlem School of the Arts, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Women’s Association, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Gabriella E. Morris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.074

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/27/2017

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Schools

Clinton Park Elementary School

Incarnate Word Academy

Fidelity Elementary School

Princeton University

University of Texas at Austin

First Name

Gabriella

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

MOR18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Fake It Till You Make It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

3/26/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb Chops

Short Description

Foundation chief executive Gabriella E. Morris (1956 - ) worked for twenty-seven years in senior legal, philanthropic and community relations positions at Prudential Financial.

Employment

US Fund for UNICEF

Connective Advisors

Prudential Financial

The Southland Corporation

Baker & Botts

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gabriella E. Morris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her father's aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris describes how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her adoption

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Clinton Park neighborhood of Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her early interests and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her mother's role on 'Queen for A Day'

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers being mistaken for Latina in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Incarnate Word Academy in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her experiences of discrimination at the Incarnate Word Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her decision to attend Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her decision to study architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her arrival at Princeton University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls the senior awards ceremony at the Incarnate Word Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her social life at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her architectural education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her professors at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers national events fromn her time at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her skin color privilege

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls the notable alumni and faculty of the University of Texas Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers working at Baker Botts LLP

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her casework at Baker Botts LLP

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers meeting her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her start at Prudential Financial, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the birth of her first child

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the financial downturn of the late 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls meeting President George W. Bush

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers becoming president of the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's philanthropic strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's impact in the community of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her career at the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's volunteer programs

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Young Entrepreneur Program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the United States Artists initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Brick City Development Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls marrying her second husband

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her duties as president of the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Newark Trust for Education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls founding Connective Advisors LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the UNICEF Bridge Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her involvement in the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Stanford University Center for Social Innovation

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Gabriella E. Morris describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Gabriella E. Morris recalls her experiences of discrimination at the Incarnate Word Academy
Gabriella E. Morris remembers working at Baker Botts LLP
Transcript
But I started my hapless career there with my mother [Elise LeNoir Morris] coming to our first open house, which was my first sh- first semester of freshman year [at Incarnate Word Academy, Houston, Texas]. And then when you walk in, it's the list of everyone on the honor roll, and she said, "Your name is not up there." And we went around and we collected all of my cards and of course I should've been on the honor roll, I had all A's. So she goes to the principal, "My daughter's name is not here, why?" "Oh yeah that's a mistake, we'll correct it," she said, "No, you'll correct it now. Today is the day when everyone sees who's on the honor roll. You will put her name there now." And of course I'm sort of semi-embarrassed, but I witnessed lot of this stuff from my mother with her own way of holding her righteous indignation through all kinds (laughter) of scenarios. That's what it takes to make that difference. And that was very, that was very important to me, because it was really about standing up for what even- everyone else is entitled to. You know that makes a diff- even that small little thing. So ah, that's how they got to know my mom (laughter), I'm sure they didn't forget it, she was a piece of work, so.$$Well, she did the right thing.$$Yeah so you know it was--you know as, as dedicated as the nuns were to teaching girls, they didn't have a vision for women. And it was you know funny tracks, you know almost like homemaker, secretary, they didn't have a vision that they're train- they're training girls for the world. I think even today I'm not sure how much, how equipped they are to say women can do anything they want. And I, I say that because you know counselors are supposed to say well you know you should go to school here. Or here's some good, they never did any of that for me. And when I got a notice from Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey], I went there and I said aren't they supposed to tell you? Oh yeah they said you're a likely, as if (makes sound) why would you wanna do that? So that always bothered me you know that they did not, they sort of had in their mind limitations for girls, for black girls, brown girls.$$You think that, there's a difference in the limitations they had for, they had limitations for all girls. But then for black and brown girls--$$Absolutely.$$--special limitations.$$Absolutely my mother to this day said they, well not to this day but she would say they, they really cheated me out of the valedictory, I was salutatorian. Because my number had all zeroes behind it, no well you can't average out four years and get all zeroes, you know to the decimal point. And that it was important to them that I not be the valedictorian, so you know once again it's religious. It's you know it's, it's important to challenge, but it's just important to keep plowing ahead as well.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$So you're, you're interning with Baker and Botts [Baker Botts LLP, Houston, Texas] and do, do they offer you a job while you're in law school [University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Austin, Texas]?$$Yeah they offered me a job after my second summer with them, and it was interesting, they had more Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey] alums there. They're very different field, more you know very eastern in their approach to things and I'd say Vinson and Elkins [Vinson and Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas] at the time was a little, little more homegrown. And they're both great firms but it was sort of like it was the last experience I had. I had both of those experiences, there were only, each firm had one black male attorney, who really was the groundbreaker. Sherman Stimley at, at Vinson Elkins unfortunately passed very, very young, but he was a terrific guy who was a mentor. He wanted, he was really responsible for gathering young people even those still in high school. Those interested in being lawyers, those in college, those in law school, just really trying to direct them to work in the big firms, he was a great guy. And then at Baker and Botts, [HistoryMaker] Rufus Cormier who recently retired was the only black attorney partner at, at Baker and Botts, he was a terrific guy as well, little different manner. But sort of austerely and calmly, confident great leader just a, a quiet man more of a quiet, quiet leader. So I worked there for three years and, and basically the system, these are basically guys that didn't wanna hire women, I gotta tell you in that day. And I only thing I think that really moved them was that they were having daughters who also wanted to be lawyers. You see they have these, these movements actually just really helped propel us forward. And they had to ask themselves why can't women work here, so there weren't that many women and they were very few, I think I was the second black person to work at the firm, so. But not a lot of mentorship overall in the firm, so I decided I should go to a corporate, a corporate law practice after that.

Allison Davis

Lawyer Allison Davis was born on August 31, 1939, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Elizabeth Stubbs Davis and Dr. William Allison Davis. Davis attended the Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, and the University of Chicago Laboratory School in Chicago, Illinois, before graduating from Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois. He received his B.A. degree from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, and his J.D. degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1964.

After graduating from law school, Davis and his wife moved to Mali, where he worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development coordinating smallpox eradication efforts and vocational training for three years. After returning to Chicago in 1967, Davis accepted a legal position at the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council. In 1969, Davis helped co-found the Chicago Council of Lawyers, a group focused on electing judges based on a merit system. In 1971, Davis co-founded Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland law firm in Chicago, focused on civil rights litigation. The firm hired Carol Moseley Braun, who went on to become the first African American female U.S. Senator and Barack Obama as a recent graduate of Harvard Law School. In 1986, Davis was appointed to the Chicago Public Building Commission by Mayor Harold Washington. Davis was then appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1991 to the Chicago Plan Commission. In 1996, he gave up his full-time law practice and founded The Davis Group, and later, New Kenwood LLC, development and financial planning firms. Davis later served on the Illinois State Board of Investment in 2003. Davis also consulted on the 2003 film, The Human Stain.

Davis has served as a member of The Blue Ribbon Committee to Reform the Office of The Recorder of Deeds of Cook County, and served for eighteen years on the Committee on Character and Fitness of the Supreme Court of Illinois. He served as a Director of RREEF America II for eleven years and was the director of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.

Davis and his wife, Susan, have two sons: Jared and Cullen.

Allison Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 27, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

01/27/2017

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Hyde Park Academy High School

Grinnell College

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

First Name

Allison

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

DAV40

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

You Can't Be Too Paranoid.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/31/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Harold's Fried Chicken

Short Description

Lawyer Allison Davis (1939- ) co-founded the firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland in 1971, that employed Barack Obama as a graduate of Harvard Law School, and The Davis Group in 1996.

Employment

U.S. Department of State

The Davis Group

Favorite Color

Shades of Blue

Angela Vallot

Lawyer and corporate executive Angela Vallot was born on November 8, 1956 in Abbeville, Louisiana, to Irene Porche, a homemaker, and Peter Vallot, a teacher and entrepreneur. Vallot attended Mills College in Oakland, California, earning her B.A. degree in government in 1977. She went on to study at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C., where she obtained her J.D. degree in 1980, after interning for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, as well as for U.S. Representative Pete Stark, Jr.

In 1985, Vallot joined the law firm of Jones Day in Washington, D.C. as an associate attorney. She was hired as counsel to the law firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn in 1990, where she served until 1997. During that time, Vallot also served on President Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential transition team, as acting director of the Office of White House Liaison. After serving as director of stakeholder relations, Vallot was hired in 1997 by Texaco, Inc. to serve as the company’s first chief diversity officer, following the settlement of a $176 million racial discrimination lawsuit. During her tenure, she created and managed Texaco’s Office of Corporate Diversity Initiatives, chaired its Corporate Diversity Council, and managed the work of six regional Diversity Councils. Vallot also worked closely with the 7 member court-appointed Task Force on Equality and Fairness, and developed the company’s partnerships with civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and National Urban League. From 2001 to 2003, Vallot served in the position of chief diversity officer at Colgate-Palmolive, before leaving to found her own management consulting company, Vallot Consultants. The firm was renamed VallotKarp Consulting with the addition of her business partner, Mitchell Karp. Vallot has toured frequently as a public speaker and panelist on topics related to diversity and inclusion, women’s issues and career development.

In 2010, Vallot joined the steering board of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where she served as chair of the development committee and the annual National Equal Justice Award Dinner. She was a trustee of the Dance Theater of Harlem and served on the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She also served on the board of trustees of the Sentinel Group Mutual Funds.

Vallot and her husband, James Basker, have two daughters, Anne and Katherine.

Angela Vallot was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 15, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.096

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/15/2016

Last Name

Vallot

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Elizabeth

Schools

Our Lady of Lourdes School

Mount Carmel Elementary School

Vermilion Catholic High School

Abbeville High School

Mills College

Georgetown University Law Center

First Name

Angela

Birth City, State, Country

Abbeville

HM ID

VAL02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/8/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish, Pasta, Gumbo, Boudin

Short Description

Lawyer and corporate executive Angela Vallot (1956 - ) served on President Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential transition team, as the first chief diversity officer at Texaco, Inc., and as chief diversity officer for Colgate-Palmolive. She founded VallotKarp Consulting in 2003.

Employment

Linowes and Blocher LLP

Jones Day

Arent Fox

D.C. Retirement Board

Sentil Group Funds

Texaco, Inc,

Colgate Palmolive Company

VallotKarp Consulting LLC

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Angela Vallot's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot remembers her mother's death

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot talks about her mother's accomplishments

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot talks about her Creole heritage, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot talks about her Creole heritage, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot describes her father's education and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot talks about her early experiences of discrimination within the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot remembers integrating the Mount Carmel School in Abbeville, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot talks about her white stepmother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot remembers integrating the Mount Carmel School in Abbeville, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot describes segregation in Abbeville, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot talks about her father's entrepreneurship

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot recalls transferring to Abbeville High School in Abbeville, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot remembers the race riot at Abbeville High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot remembers Mills College in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot recalls her decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot remembers her internship with U.S. Congressman Pete Stark

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot recalls helping her father lobby for minority businesses

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot remembers Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot recalls her classmates at the Georgetown University Law Center

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot talks about the African American community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot recalls her internships during law school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot recalls her aspirations during law school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot remembers practicing real estate law

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Angela Vallot recalls her transition to government relations at Arent Fox LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot recalls the racial tensions in the real estate industry of Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot recalls the racial tensions in the real estate industry of Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot describes her governmental relations practice at Arent Fox LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot talks about her role in President Bill Clinton's campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot talks about her civic engagement in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot describes her position in President Bill Clinton's transition team

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot remembers the death of Ron Brown and Kathryn Hoffman

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot recalls the discrimination lawsuit against Texaco, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot recalls her transition to Texaco, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot recalls the discrimination lawsuit against Texaco, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot describes her role at Texaco, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot recalls her speaking engagements for Texaco, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot talks about her children

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot talks about her transition to the Colgate Palmolive Company

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot remembers her challenges at the Colgate Palmolive Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot describes her decision to leave the Colgate Palmolive Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot remembers founding VallotKarp Consulting LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot reflects upon the changes in corporate diversity practices

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot talks about her board work for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot talks about her daughter, Katherine Vallot-Basker

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot talks about her daughter's racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot talks about her daughter's racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot talks about her husband, James G. Basker

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot describes her husband's role in the Oxbridge Academic Programs

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot describes her husband's work at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot reflects upon her career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot shares her advice to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot shares her advice to mixed race families

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$9

DATitle
Angela Vallot recalls the racial tensions in the real estate industry of Washington, D.C., pt. 1
Angela Vallot recalls her transition to Texaco, Inc.
Transcript
So I'd like for you to, to talk about the dynamic between the big law firm with the big real estate company and the community and, and what those dynamics could sometimes look like, what, what you may have participated in?$$Yeah, so, you know, the agencies that we had to go before to get these approvals were predominantly black, but they were mixed so it was the redevelopment land agency [District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency], the zoning commission [District of Columbia Zoning Commission], the board of zoning approval [sic. District of Columbia Board of Zoning Adjustment] and, you know, again, there was people under white developers and unfortunately at the time, they were all white developers. There was one black developer who had, who had just started and had come into the business while I was still practicing. And actually we represented him, his name was Conrad Motts [ph.]. But, I was representing a white developer who was competing for a piece of city owned land that the city wanted to have redeveloped. And, there were four or five different developers all competing to get this. And you have to come in with your proposals, your architects, you know, the whole works of what you were gonna do. And, we were appearing before the redevelopment land agency, and it was a very, very contested, very heated case and it really got into some very ugly politics. And it was in the black community, so we had another--our law firm competitor was representing another developer. That's right, it was down to two developers my guy and then another guy who was represented by a competitor firm. But, it had gotten very, very ugly because it was an article that appeared in a Washington [D.C.] magazine and a Jewish developer was being interviewed and he was, he was a real estate developer and he made a very foolish statement. And the statement was they were talking to him about his attitudes or about developing these buildings and going into the black community. And he had this horrible, horrible quote that he said, "You can't put whipped cream on shit." This was published in a magazine. That was the quote.$$Who said this?$$A developer. He was a Jewish developer, I won't name names. He was the developer that was trying to--that was competing against my developer guy. So, my guy was Jewish, this guy was Jewish. It so happened that he was being interviewed for this Washington magazine and unfortunately, he made this unfortunate quote. So, I got ahold of that article and my--the, the black community that I was dealing with, you know, was in support of my guy. So, the night before the hearing I made copies of this article 'cause it was hot off the press. It had just come and I thought, oh, well, yeah, this is gonna seal my deal right here. I mean, how could you make a statement like that? So, the, the person who was head of the ANC, the advisory neighborhood council [sic. Advisory Neighborhood Commission], you know, they were sort of elected officials, black guy, he was also a, a, a minister, and he was my guy. He would help me with all my projects, so I told him about this article. So, they didn't have like copy machines and all that stuff so he said, "Angela [HistoryMaker Angela Vallot], copy it for me. Make copies and here's what I want you to say--," type up a flyer 'cause, again, he didn't have like a typewriter and all that stuff so I typed this up. It's late at night, I'm in my law firm [Jones Day] late and it's a flyer that says something like, we can't let this kind of stuff come into our community. And, you know, the quote was highlighted. "You can't put whipped cream on shit," referring to the black community. So, I walk into the hearing, he'd met me outside the building and I had the box and he passed out the flyers in the hearing. Oh, my god, this caused such chaos, and it became clear that I had made the copies. Well, they had to suspend the hearing because people were going crazy in the hearing once they saw what he said. So, you know, they, they--he guy's tapping the gavel. "Order! Order! Calm down," you know, and the other side is looking at me and they're glaring. So, things were suspended for a while and the other side ended up talking to my client about, you know, look at what's happening. They're pitting us, these two Jewish developers, against each other. And, they called the head of my law firm and he was furious that I had made copies and I said, I didn't write the story, I didn't make the statement. All I did was make copies because this guy didn't have a computer, I mean, a Xerox machine. He asked me to make copies. But, it, it, it, it caused a lot of tension. And the head of the real estate practice said to me, you should never, ever do something like this, I mean, that's like crossing the line. I'm like, "Look, I'm advocating for my client. This was a horrible statement, I didn't make the statement." But it got into this very ugly thing of sort of the Jewish community against the black community and it was just ugly. It was really ugly (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Even though he said it.$$You can't put whipped cream on shit.$$He was not--$What does that have to do with me? I was on the District of Columbia Retirement Board still at the time. So, Bijur [Peter Bijur] got invited to speak to the Council of Institutional Investors, it's the big umbrella industry organization to which all the pension funds belong--CalPERS [California Public Employees' Retirement System], CalSTRS [California State Teachers' Retirement System], NYSTRS [New York State Teachers' Retirement System], all of those--the big money. And they own, you know, millions and millions of dollars of Texaco [Texaco, Inc.] stock. So, he gets invited to come and be the keynote speaker and he's trying to calm his, you know, shareholders down to say--and literally he said, I'm the guy, I'm in charge, things are gonna change. By this time he had already settled the lawsuit and he was trying to convince people that he was gonna make radical change at Texaco. I was there and the woman who ran the Council of Institutional Investors by this time had sort of become a friend, and she invited me to a small dinner party that night for the CEO of Texaco and the CEO of--all the oil CEOs were there. And it was, you know, like maybe twelve people. And I sat next to him and I thought, okay, this is my big chance, I'm gonna get Texaco as a client, right? 'Cause I was always hustling, right. Everybody met, you know, it was like, you know, "I can help you." So, I said to him, you know, like, "Wow, I'm not surprised by any of this." I told him my, my dad's [Peter Vallot, Jr.] story of being in the oil industry and, you know, the nigger jokes at lunch and, we had a great conversation. I ended up flying back to New York [New York] with him that night on their company plane because by this time I had moved to New York. I had gotten married and my firm [Arent Fox LLP] transferred me to the New York office 'cause my husband [Vallot's second husband, James G. Basker] and I were commuting. So, we had agreed after the plane ride back, and he had some of his other staff people on the plane, that we would stay in touch and, you know, I'd come to see him about the possibility of doing some work for Texaco. So, he set up a meeting, I went in and met all of the top leadership of the company, and at a certain point he said to me, you know, "You have a really interesting background. Instead of representing us, you know, would you ever consider coming to work for us?" And, I said, "No, I, I wouldn't, I don't think I would." I said, "You know, Texaco's got a really bad reputation. Most of my friends have torn up their credit cards, like, you, you need serious help. But, I, I will represent you on the outside but I--no, I wouldn't wanna go to work for you." So, that was sort of the beginning of a conversation that, you know, took place over the next few months. Ultimately, I went to work for Texaco. And, Peter wanted me to head diversity and, you know, at first I said, "No, no way. Why? I'm the black woman, you're gonna hire me to run diversity because I'm a black woman," you know. I, I don't know anything about diversity. I had been my firm's co-chair of diversity and I said, you know, "Obviously, it's something I'm passionate about but I'm not an expert. Why don't you hire somebody who's an expert in the field?" And he said to me, "You know everything you need to know and you'll learn the rest. I want you to do this job." I remember being sort of startled by that and, and I, I took the job. So, I, I started and built the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and I had a team of I think four people. And we worked very closely with this court appointed taskforce, which at the time was headed by Deval Patrick [HistoryMaker Deval L. Patrick] and then later Deval was hired to become the general counsel of Texaco.$$So, was there a diversity department before you arrived?$$There was HR [human resources] and there was somebody--there was not an HR--a diversity department but there was a guy there who was focused on diversity. So, you know, to some extent Texaco felt very burned by what happened, because after--I think after the suit was filed I think they had started to really focus on--all right, we need to do something about this 'cause we do have this lawsuit pending. So, I think they felt very burned by this whole thing 'cause they felt like they were doing things. But they hadn't made it the priority that it became, obviously, after the settlement of the lawsuit. And it was, you know, it was unfortunate that these two idiotic people, you know, had that conversation and, you know, the fact that it was recorded.

Karen Hastie Williams

Karen Hastie Williams was born on September 30, 1944 in Washington, D.C. to Beryl and William H. Hastie, Jr. Her father was the first African American federal judge appointed to the bench of the Federal District Court in the U.S. Virgin Islands and became the first African American Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1946. In 1949, he was appointed to the Third United States Circuit Court of Appeals, where he would serve for twenty-one years. Judge William H. Hastie along with Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and others worked on the cases that led to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Williams graduated from Girls’ High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. degree from Bates College in 1966 and her M.A. degree from Tufts University in 1967. In 1973, she received her J.D. degree from Catholic University of America. She was then hired as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Williams served as Chief Counsel of the Senate Committee on the Budget from 1977 until 1980. She also served as Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. In 1982, she was the first African American to joined Crowell & Moring LLP, where she made partner in two years. As a retired partner, she has taken on a new area of expertise, seeking compensation for victims of terrorism.

From 1992 to 1993, Williams served as Chair of the ABA Section of Public Contract Law and became Director of Washington Gas & Light. Williams was appointed by President George W. Bush and served with distinction as a Public Life Member of the Internal Revenue Oversight Board from 2000 to 2003 and was Chair of the Red Cross Governance Advisory Committee.

Williams is a member of the National Contract Management Association, the Black Women Lawyers Association, the National Bar Association and the Women’s Forum of Washington, D.C. Her community activities include service on the Board of Directors of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights under the Law. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund at Amherst College and formerly of the National Cathedral School.

Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.167

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/27/2007

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

Hastie

Occupation
Schools

Philadelphia High School for Girls

Ellwood Sch

Saints Peter and Paul School

Columbus Law School

Wagner Gen Louis Ms

Bates College

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

First Name

Karen

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WIL39

Favorite Season

Summer

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

It Is Not Important To Be The First If You Can't Open The Door For A Second Or Third In Whatever You Do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/30/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mangoes

Short Description

Corporate lawyer Karen Hastie Williams (1944 - ) was the former director of Washington Gas, and was the first African American to join the law firm Crowell & Moring, LLP, and be made partner.

Employment

Crowell and Moring LLP

Mobil Oil Company

Thurgood Marshall

Spottswood W. Robinson III

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson LLP

U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget

Office of Management and Budget

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Karen Hastie Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Karen Hastie Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her maternal grandfather's career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her father's work under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her father's roles in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Karen Hastie Williams describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Karen Hastie Williams talks about her father's civil rights activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Karen Hastie Williams remembers Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Karen Hastie Williams recalls her father's civil rights casework

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Karen Hastie Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her transition to public schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Karen Hastie Williams describes General Louis Wagner Junior High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Karen Hastie Williams remembers the Philadelphia High School for Girls in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Karen Hastie Williams describes the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her experiences at the Philadelphia High School for Girls

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Karen Hastie Williams recalls her decision to attend Bates College in Lewiston, Maine

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her experiences at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her undergraduate thesis and graduate studies

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Karen Hastie Williams remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her position at the Mobil Oil Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Karen Hastie Williams talks about her husband and children

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Karen Hastie Williams recalls her decision to attend the Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Karen Hastie Williams remembers the Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Karen Hastie Williams recalls her judicial clerkships

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Karen Hastie Williams talks about her father and Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her career in government

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Karen Hastie Williams recalls her role at the Office of Management and Budget

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Karen Hastie Williams describes the law firm of Crowell and Moring LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Karen Hastie Williams talks about her organizational involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her work with the American Red Cross

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Karen Hastie Williams talks about the leadership of the American Red Cross

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Karen Hastie Williams describes her terrorism casework at Crowell and Moring LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Karen Hastie Williams reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Karen Hastie Williams shares a message to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Karen Hastie Williams describes her father's roles in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Karen Hastie Williams recalls her role at the Office of Management and Budget
Transcript
Let's step back a little bit and talk more about your father as governor of the [U.S.] Virgin Islands. Did he share stories about his work there at that time?$$Yes, he was, when he was governor of the Virgin Islands I was five years old, my brother [William H. Hastie III] was born in Government House [Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands]. I went to elementary school at the local Catholic school.$$Do you remember the name of it?$$Saint Peter's and Paul [Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School, Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands].$$Okay.$$Catholic school and stayed there through the fifth grade. When Dad came, this would be back to the islands because as you recall he had been there as a judge before he went to teach at Howard [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.]. And he was fairly controversial in the sense that he established the terms or had the legislature approve the terms of the Organic Act [Organic Act of 1936] which was the first major overall of the legislation that really guided the way things were going to be done within the government structure within the tax structure. And there were those particularly the editor then of the largest newspaper who many years later became his brother-in-law, were attacking him in stories saying you know, "Hastie's [William H. Hastie] trying to bring his stateside ideas to our little island. And you know wants to change the way things were done." Well his concern was that the laws were not clear, they were being interpreted by local judges giving favoritism to a lot of the big property owners. And the work force the, the men and women who were conducting their lives responsibly, were in many ways not being supported by the way the laws were being interpreted. So this went on for probably close two years, legislature ultimately passed his recommendations. And that is still the law in the Virgin Islands now. He was I think the first civilian governor after a string of [U.S.] Navy governors were the, the leader of the, of the islands. They, they were presidential appointees most of them were white naval officers. But, he had a very successful term, Truman [President Harry S. Truman] came down to the Virgin Islands and it was the first time that a president had visited the islands and this would have been probably in 1947 or '48 [1948] I believe. And my brother was born in Government House on St. Thomas [U.S. Virgin Islands] in 1947.$$Okay.$$I think that in retrospect most Virgin Islanders feel that his tenure as governor was good for the islands.$So I went down to the White House to OMB [Office of Management and Budget] and spent a year and a half down there working as the head of the Office of Federal Procurement and Policy [Office of Federal Procurement Policy], which is an executive office located within OMB.$$And tell me what that experience was like?$$That was a very interesting experience because my, my job was really to put pressure on the federal--the major federal cabinet offices to do more with contracting out to women, to people of color. That was a real agenda item. And this was the Carter [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] administration. And so I did that and I remember having a conver- a meeting with Colin Powell [HistoryMaker General Colin L. Powell], who was then the, I guess it's called the special assistant to the secretary of defense. And he said to me and I had not known him before, but I walked in, and he said, "Before we have a conversation I have to tell you that your father [William H. Hastie] changed my life." I said, "Oh my, how did he do that?" He said, "Well, he was the chairman of the Commission on White House Fellows [President's Commission on White House Fellowships] and he picked me out of a group of thirty candidates to be one of the people who was a White House Fellow. And I choose to come over and work with the secretary of defense," and here he is now back again on another tour. And he said, "I really want to help you, I know that the [U.S.] military should be doing better. But, I've gotta tell you when I run up against these three stars and four stars [four star general]," this was before he had all of his stars, "it's very difficult." I said, "Well I'm just looking for--I realize you can't change everything overnight, I'd like to just see some progress." And I, we talked about strategies that he might use. And I told him, I'd provide him some additional information as to what was going on in other agencies. So that was a particularly interesting time when I was in OMB, because I was interacting with a lot of senior people in government. And working also with people up on Capitol Hill [Washington, D.C.]. So I think that the two governmental experiences both at the budget committee [U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget] and at OMB were very instructive. In terms of building my experience level to be able when I went back into private practice, to be able to help clients negotiate within the federal structures.$$So you leave there in 1981?$$Right.

Theodore V. Wells, Jr.

Attorney Theodore V. Wells, Jr. has made a mark on the legal world as one of the most sought-after white collar criminal lawyers. Ted Wells was born Theodore Von Wells, Jr. on April 28, 1950 in Washington, D.C. to Phyllis and Theodore V. Wells, Sr., and grew up in a small rowhouse in Northwest, Washington, D.C. Wells was raised by his mother, who worked in the U.S. Navy’s mailroom. Wells became known for his academic focus, and by the time he attended Calvin Coolidge High School was known for his grades as well as his prowess on the football field.

In 1968, Wells graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School and attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. While attending Holy Cross, Wells was mentored by Reverend John E. Brooks and Edward Bennett Williams and became head of the black student union. One classmate, also a member of the union, was current U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, with whom Wells participated in a walkout because of the school’s racially motivated unfair practices. In 1971, Wells married his high school girlfriend, Nina Mitchell, in Washington, D.C. The following year, he returned to school and received his B.A. degree.

After graduation, Wells attended Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School simultaneously, receiving both his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees in 1976. Wells was one of only forty-three black students then enrolled in Harvard Law School. He then worked as a law clerk for Judge John J. Gibbons, a Third Circuit judge, where he worked alongside another current Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito. The following year, after a very brief clerkship at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Los Angeles, Wells joined the Lowenstein Sandler law firm in New Jersey and worked doing pro bono criminal defense work under mentor Matthew Boylan. There, he would hone his trial room technique.

In 1982, Wells became partner at Lowenstein Sandler. The following year, he won his case for Hudson County Prosecutor Harold Ruvoldt, then on trial for bribery and extortion and in 1987 successfully defended Raymond Donovan, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, his first high profile case. In 1993, Wells was elected Fellow for the American College of Trial Lawyers, and, in 1994, he was chosen as one of the most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, a title he earned again in 1997 and 2000.

In 1998, Wells won a case for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy in U.S. v. Espy, and the following year, Wells effectively defended Franklin L. Haney, a Tennessee financier who had become involved in a campaign finance controversy for the 1996 presidential elections. In 2000, Wells became Bill Bradley’s National Campaign Treasurer during his unsuccessful presidential run. That year, he also joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, becoming partner and litigation department co-chair. Since then, Wells has defended a number of major corporations in a variety of cases, and his clients have included Johnson & Johnson, Mitsubishi Corporation, Philip Morris, ExxonMobil and the Carnival Corporation, as well as the first RICO case on Wall Street. Most recently, Wells defended Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff “Scooter” Libby in the Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal.

Wells was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 15, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.175

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/15/2007 |and| 6/7/2007 |and| 7/25/2007

Last Name

Wells

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Calvin Coolidge Senior High School

Rudolph Elementary School

Keene Elementary School

Paul Public Charter School

College of the Holy Cross

Harvard Law School

Harvard Business School

First Name

Theodore

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WEL02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Boy, Boy, Boy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/28/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

French Fries

Short Description

Litigator Theodore V. Wells, Jr. (1950 - ) was partner and litigation department co-chair at the law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Employment

National Park Service

Pricewaterhousecooper (PwC)

Arnold and Palmer

Alston, Miller and Gaines

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Seton Hall University School of Law

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Favorite Color

Aqua Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Theodore V. Wells, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the Northwest neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his early pastimes

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his early interest in literature

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his best friend from childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his relationship with his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his father's shooting

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his early interests

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes segregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his civil rights activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the severity of segregation in the South

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the influence of his best friend's father

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Kent B. Amos and A. Barry Rand

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers successful individuals from his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his high school football career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his college recruitment as a football player

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his decision to attend College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the athletic recruitment process

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his athletic scholarship offers

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his arrival at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his first semester at the College of the Holy Cross

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the political climate at the College of the Holy Cross

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers dating his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his African American peers at the College of the Holy Cross'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Clarence Thomas

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to quit the football team

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the platform of his Black Student Union

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes Clarence Thomas' involvement with the Black Student Union

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the protest movements of the early 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his academic interest in economics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his employment during college

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. narrates his photographs

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Slating of Theodore V. Wells, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the walkout at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the walkout at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the aftermath of the walkout at the College of the Holy Cross

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his sophomore year at College of the Holy Cross

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers John E. Brooks

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon the success of his peers from the College of the Holy Cross

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to pursue a graduate degree

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his law school applications

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his wedding and honeymoon

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls moving to Somerville, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his enrollment at the Harvard Law School

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the J.D./M.B.A. degree program at Harvard University

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his first year at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his classmates at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his professors at the Harvard Law School

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his work on the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the African American faculty of the Harvard Law School

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his summer internships while at the Harvard Law School

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the integration of corporate law firms

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his judicial clerkship

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls obtaining a clerkship under Judge John Joseph Gibbons

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes Judge John Joseph Gibbons' former law clerks

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his clerkship under Judge John Joseph Gibbons

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the state of minorities in the courts in the 1970s

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his duties as a judicial clerk

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his clerkship at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Raymond A. Brown

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Lowenstein Sandler LLP, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Lowenstein Sandler LLP, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls working on a Soviet Union espionage case

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his casework at Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers defending Al Dickens

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his position under Matthew P. Boylan at Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers defending Harold J. Ruvoldt, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers defending Harold J. Ruvoldt, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls defending Raymond J. Donovan

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his political involvement in New Jersey

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the U.S. Senate campaigns in New Jersey

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers meeting Bill Bradley

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls Bill Bradley's presidential campaign

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his professional aspirations

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his decision to turn down judicial appointments

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Judge Herbert Jay Stern

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his political activities in New Jersey

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers becoming a partner at Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his compensation as a trial lawyer

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his relationship with Bill Bradley

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his roles in the Democratic Party

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls being offered a position as a U.S. attorney

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes how he came to represent Mike Espy

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the case of United States v. Espy

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his defense strategy for the case of United States v. Espy

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his federal casework

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his defense of Calvin Grigsby

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the chronology of his federal casework

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the case of United States v. Lauersen

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the mentorship of Arthur L. Liman and Edward Bennett Williams

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his preference to work solo

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the case of United States v. Flake

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the importance of research for trial lawyers

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his defense of Merck and Co., Inc.

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the process of deferred prosecution

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the case of Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his legal casework

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the case of United States v. Libby

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his most influential legal casework

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his political ideologies, pt. 1

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the role of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his political ideologies, pt. 2

Tape: 15 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the role of African Americans in politics

Tape: 15 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 15 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

6$9

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the walkout at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, pt. 2
Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls working on a Soviet Union espionage case
Transcript
And we held a meeting that night after the decision was rendered that the students would be expelled, held a meeting of the black student's union [Black Student Union]. And I was the vice president of the BSU at that juncture. And there were a lot of discussions about what we should do, including whether we should take over an administration--over the administration building. And someone, I don't--do not recall whose idea it was, someone at some point in the meeting stood up and said, "You know what? This is so wrong, so fundamentally wrong and speaks so loudly about the college's attitude towards black students and towards issues of fairness. We should just leave. We should quit school and just leave and start over somewhere else." And it was an idea that just caught on like wildfire. It just went through the room, and suddenly you had in this room of forty or fifty people, people said, "You know what? We don't need to take over any administration building, occupy anybody's property, engage in trespassing. I mean the best way to send the message as to how we feel is just to leave and we'll find another college." And we took a vote, and we decided we were gonna--we were all gonna quit school the next day. And I informed the college president who was Father Swords [Raymond J. Swords] that night that the black students had decided to resign. And Father Swords, I'll never forget, looked at me in a fairly cold fashion, and he said, "Well, that's your right, but we're not changing our mind." And I said, fine. So I went back to the, what was called the black corridor. Most of the black students lived in the third and fourth floor of the Healy dormitory [Healy Hall]. And I went back and everybody came out into the halls, and I advised them that I had met with Father Brooks [John E. Brooks], and that he basically said, if you're gonna resign, resign. And we went on--I remember I went on the college radio station that night and announced that at ten o'clock tomorrow morning, each and every black student at Holy Cross [College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts] would be leaving school, and we would have a press conference at ten that morning. And we spent the night calling our parents, and it was one of the most traumatic nights of my entire life because as one of the leaders, I not only had to tell my mother [Phyllis Wells] I was quitting school, where I had a full scholarship, but I had to get on the telephone with the parents of some of the other students, who wanted to understand what was going on. And I was, at that time, nineteen years old and being put in a spot of trying to explain to a number of parents why their young sons--it was an all-male school at that time--why their young sons were giving up their scholarship because almost all of us were on some type of financial aid or, or scholarship.$I started at Lowenstein [Lowenstein, Sandler, Brochin, Kohl, Fisher and Boylan; Lowenstein Sandler LLP], and about two months later--well, I started, I was in the slash litigation corporate department, cause I still am confused, whether I'm gonna be a litigator or corporate lawyer. And I'm still trying to feel my way, but I've been there about sixty days, and the--two Soviet spies were arrested, charged with espionage, a guy named Enger [Valdik Enger] and a guy Chernyayev [Rudolph Chernyayev], and Matt [Matthew P. Boylan] was retained by the Soviet Union [Russia] to represent Chennai. And Matt said, "Okay, this is what I hired you for." He said, "Come on, you're gonna be my main associate on this case." And it was a huge national case. It was a show trial. It was right after Watergate. I guess, probably Webster [William H. Webster] had become head of the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation], and they were trying to increase the prestige of the FBI. And they made a--a very conscious decision was made to have, what I'll call a show trial. And there were fascinating legal issues, diplomatic immunity because there was a wiretap. It was this big sting operation, and I'm only a few months out of my clerkship [with John J. Gibbons], and I'm in one of the biggest cases in the country, huge espionage case. And as life would have it, Sam Alito [Samuel Alito], who was co-clerk with me, Sam had gone to the U.S. attorney's office and Bob Del Tufo [Robert Del Tufo] was the U.S. attorney then, and he grabbed Sam. He said, "Well, come on, you're gonna be on the spy case with me." So Sam and I are truly ninety days, you know, four months, something like that out of our clerkships, and we're now going against each other in this huge espionage case. And it was a sting, so nothing really got stolen. The alleged thing was whether they were stealing secrets with respect to the Trident [missile] submarine system. But it was, it was a fascinating representation. I mean we truly were retained by the Soviet Union. Both of these, both of the defendants were employees of the Soviet mission [Consulate General of Russia in New York City] in New York [New York], and Enger, who was the equivalent of a colonel in the KGB, he was presented by a guy named Marty Popper [Martin Popper] and Don Ruby [Donald N. Ruby], and Popper, the way he got connected with the Soviets was he had been an assistant prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials. And he worked on Justice Roberts' [ph.] staff. And he worked with, I guess, the Soviet prosecutors during the Nuremburg trial, and when he set up his practice, he started representing the Soviet mission. So he was a natural choice to represent Enger and Matt, Matt had no connections or anything to do with the Soviet Union. But Matt was just viewed as one of the top trial lawyers. And they asked Matt would he come in and represent Chernyayev, who was like a sergeant in the KGB. And we did so, but then Matt had a terrible falling out 'cause they--the Soviets were always concerned that Matt--that Chernyayev might defect. And they didn't trust us either 'cause we--they had no connections with us. So we never got to talk to our client by himself, you know, in an entire eighteen months of representing him. There was always a senior diplomatic official, I assume, another KGB guy. But they never let him out of their sight. And we went to trial in front of--Fred Lacey [Frederick Bernard Lacey] was the federal district court judge. And that was my, that was my first big case. And we picked that jury in two days, but we impaneled the jury like three o'clock in the morning. And Lacey told them finally at three in the morning that they were gonna be sequestered. And it was, it was a fascinating case. They were, they were convicted, never did a day in prison. Lacey gave them both thirty years, but they were swapped for maybe three or four Soviet dissidents. And I remember Sam and I, we had written the--the conviction had taken place. They were out on bail pending appeal. And I remember Popper called me one day and said, "Well, we just cut the deal with the White House, but you have to go to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] in the morning," meaning me, "to withdraw the appeal." And I remember--and he said, "Come to New York right away." And I was a little suspicious of, of Marty--I mean he's dead now. I thought Marty might swap me, if it would help (laughter). And I told everybody, I said, "I'm going over to Marty. If I don't show up or something," (laughter), "this is where I am." And I went to the Third Circuit [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit] the next morning, and I signed a bunch of papers with ribbons on them, and then they did the swap at a--somewhere, maybe at some airport around D.C. [Washington, D.C.]. That afternoon, went on national TV. So they never did any time. Then we were actually supposed to go to the Soviet Olympics [1980 Summer Olympics, Moscow, Russia], and then, but then Carter [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] boycotted the Olympics. So we were, we were invited to go to the Olympics as their guests, but we never, never went 'cause the, because the U.S. boycotted the Olympics. But that's how I started doing criminal law. I mean, it, it--with the Soviet spy case.

Randolph Michael McLaughlin

Civil rights attorney and executive director of Hale House Randolph McLaughlin was born on June 9, 1953 in East Elmhurst, New York. During his early school years attending P. S. 148 in the mid 1960s, his favorite teacher Ms. Oliveri, chose him to deliver the "I Have a Dream" speech by Dr. Martin Luther King during a school play. After that moment, McLaughlin made a personal decision to dedicate his life to civil rights and the struggle against injustice. He graduated Newtown High School in 1967.

After four years of undergraduate work at Columbia University in 1975, McLaughlin was admitted to Harvard Law School and upon graduation from law school in 1978 joined the staff of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City and was mentored by William Kunstler.

Beginning his civil rights legal career in 1982, McLaughlin represented five African American women in a major lawsuit against the Chattanooga branch of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The women were awarded $535,000 in damages and McLaughlin started a long career in civil rights law. On March 13, 1991, McLaughlin represented Ossie Davis and others in a federal class action challenge against the at-large election system utilized by the City of New Rochelle, New York for the election of its City Council members. As a result on March 2, 1993 a referendum was held and approved leading to the City Council approving a six-district plan. On November 2, 1993, under the new district plan, the first African American woman was elected to the City Council of New Rochelle.

In 1988, McLaughlin joined the faculty of Pace University School of Law where he began to teach Civil Rights Law and Civil Rights Litigation. In 1992, he was honored as the Outstanding Professor of the Year. Four years later in 1996, McLaughlin was appointed as the director of Pace Law School Social Justice Center. The Social Justice Center saved a vibrant community in New Rochelle, New York from displacement by an IKEA super store.

Since May of 2001, McLaughlin has served as counsel to the Board of Directors of Hale House Center, which was founded by Clara "Mother" Hale in 1969. In the fall of 2004, the Board of Directors appointed McLaughlin as the executive director of Hale House, where he continues to serve the community.

Accession Number

A2005.130

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/8/2005 |and| 7/29/2005

Last Name

McLaughlin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Michael

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Newtown High School

P.S. 148

Columbia University

Harvard Law School

P.S. 127

First Name

Randolph

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MCL02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

You're killing me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/9/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Goat (Curried)

Short Description

Civil rights lawyer Randolph Michael McLaughlin (1953 - ) has served as the executive director of Hale House in New York, and has represented African Americans against the Ku Klux Klan and challenging electoral district laws. He has also served as the director of the Social Justice Center at Pace University Law School.

Employment

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Center for Constitutional Rights

Hale House Center

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Randolph Michael McLaughlin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his mixed-race family lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his mixed identity

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his father's relationship with Augusto Sandino

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin talks about the passing of his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin talks about his brother, Victor McLaughlin, and uncle, Randolph Rodrigues

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes family holidays growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls growing up in East Elmhurst, New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes the community of East Elmhurst in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls transferring to the majority-white P.S. 148 in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls playing Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in a school performance

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin shares a humorous story about his father's parenting style

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls the integration of New York City public schools

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his experience with school integration

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls his childhood dreams and aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers his experience at Newtown High School in Queens, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his parents' working-class jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls his extracurricular involvement with Boys State

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes what he learned from his achievements at Newtown High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin explains why he chose to attend Columbia University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers his early political involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls studying African history and literature at Columbia University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his interest in pursuing a law career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls his acceptance to Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes how his personality changed when he entered Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes the atmosphere of Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes how his law school experiences influenced his teaching style

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls two major U.S. Supreme Court cases on affirmative action during his time in law school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes how he stayed true to himself at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls how William Kunstler inspired him to pursue civil rights law

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Randolph Michael McLaughlin's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers the trial of the Chicago Seven

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls meeting William Kunstler

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers joining the staff of the Center for Constitutional Rights

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls learning from Morten Stavis

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls William Kunstler's notable legal cases

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers the trial of Bashir Hameed and Abdul Majid

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls conducting his first cross-examination

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his technique for winning over a jury

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls angering Judge Kenneth Browne during trial

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes what he learned from William Kunstler

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers the unfair dismissal of his jury

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls the convictions of Bashir Hameed and Abdul Majid

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers marching against the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his legal counsel for the National Anti-Klan Network demonstration

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls taking a case against the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls his protection from the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes the courtroom in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls defeating the Ku Klux Klan at trial

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls his desegregation case in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers two legal cases in Mississippi

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes the history of Liberia, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin gives the history of Liberia, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls traveling to Liberia to investigate human rights violations

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes the foods of Liberia

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes the findings of his human rights investigation

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin talks about the First Liberian Civil War

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers working with Basil Paterson

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his cases in Harlem, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls beginning his teaching career

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin talks about Goosby v. Town of Hempstead

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his voting rights case in New Rochelle, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls creating community institutions in Westchester County, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls a housing case in New Rochelle, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls representing school desegregation activists in Yonkers, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls becoming involved with Hale House Center

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin describes his work with Hale House Center

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin talks about his human rights report on Liberia

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Randolph Michael McLaughlin explains why he agreed to be a HistoryMaker

DASession

2$2

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Randolph Michael McLaughlin recalls learning from Morten Stavis
Randolph Michael McLaughlin remembers marching against the Ku Klux Klan
Transcript
Now, again, it's the Center for Constitutional Rights [New York, New York], it's not Bill Kunstler [William Kunstler], but he's the vice president. So, and I didn't even meet Bill during the interviewing process. But one day I'm in the office, I'm just a young whippersnapper and Kunstler comes in and he's, you know, doing his thing. And I walked up to him, I don't even know if I mentioned, I'm sure I told him years later, but I don't think I ever mentioned that I had met him at the thing, he had probably forgotten me, I mean, I don't really think he said, "Oh, yeah, you're that kid I met at Harvard Law School [Cambridge, Massachusetts]." Unh-uh. But I'm working there now. And I walk up to him in his office and I said, "Mr. Kunstler," I said, "Bill," 'cause everyone called him Bill, I said, "Bill, you owe me something." He says, "Like what? I, I owe you something, like what, what, do I owe you money?" (Laughter) I said, "No." I said, "You're one of the best"-- not one of 'em, I said, "You're the best trial lawyer in the country and you owe me the obligation to teach me what you know so someone else can do what you do." And, you know, he was like, "Well, thank you." And he said, "Okay, fine. When you're ready, you come to me and we'll work together, just like that." Now, there was another lawyer there named Mort Stavis [Morton Stavis] and Morty was, he was Bill's lawyer, when Bill got in trouble, he hired Mort. And Mort was the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. And interestingly Morty was handling a case called Dellinger vs. Mitchell [Dellinger v. Mitchell, 1971] and that was a case where the activists from the Chicago Seven trial sued the attorney general [John Mitchell] and other FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] officials for violation of their constitutional rights back in '68 [1968]. So one of the first cases I was assigned to work on was Dellinger vs. Mitchell so it's like, almost like a complete circle. And I was in contact with the remnants then of the Black Panther Party, 'cause they were a part of the case also. So I'm now working for the, you know, for the Chicago Seven, it was like this is where I'm supposed to be. So I work with Mort, and Morty was a, I figured if Kunstler used Stavis as his lawyer when he got in trouble, that was the man I needed to learn from. So what I always say, I came to CCR [Center for Constitutional Rights] to work for Bill but I stayed to work for Morty 'cause that old man, and he was an old man at the time, he taught me more about litigation and approaches and courtroom tactics, he wasn't a, a, you know, a consummate trial lawyer, that wasn't what Morty's skill was, Morty's skill was he could manipulate the law, that's what he could do. He would, he always said, if you think a problem through long enough, you keep turning it over in your head, you'll find a way around the problem. The problem is most folks don't turn it over, they just, they hit the wall and then move, and, and they forget about it. He said but you just keep trying. He would say to me, "I don't care how big the law firm is that we're up against, it doesn't make a difference to me; if you're willing to work, you can beat the largest law firm in the country. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, you just have to work harder than they do." And he was just, so I, I learned litigation from him. So I spent a few years doing that with, with Morty.$Moving on to the Klan [Ku Klux Klan (KKK)].$$--Klan. This is back in the, it's going on at the same time, back in the '80s [1980s], the Klan for some reason, I'm not sure why, but they're reemerging in the country. Bill Wilkinson is one of the big Klansmen, it was later, revealed that he was an FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] informant. He worked for the, worked for the FBI being the head of the Klan, that kind of hurt the movement. So they're, they're shooting people, they're not lynching them yet, but they're certainly beating up black people, my first time seeing the Klan was when we're marching, CCR [Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, New York] had got, formed a, a coalition with other groups with they, it called itself the National Anti-Klan Network [Center for Democratic Renewal] and I was one of the legal directors of the group, like a legal coordinator. And we marched in Decatur, Alabama, first time, ever being down in Alabama against the Klan (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) what year?$$Oh, '79 [1979], '80 [1980], we marched against the Klan. And I'll never forget seeing these Klansmen in these robes, you know, like there were, we'd go to this church before we'd start the march, and the Klan had, had beaten up some people in the previous march before so we came down in massive numbers. And the nonviolence was the message. So everyone, all the men are asked to come into a church before the march begins, and they tell us if you have any weapons, leave them here, no questions asked, just leave your weapons. So all of a sudden, guns, knives, things start (laughter) coming out of pockets click, click, click, click (making sounds). So we start the march and there are troopers on the buildings with guns and rifles, it's, it's like, you know, it's like the civil rights days, it's just that bad. And we march down, I see these people with these sticks and these clubs and, you know, the Klan outfits, I'm like who are these people? Like they're like cartoon characters to me. So that was the first time. And then North Carolina was where I really kind of cut my teeth on the thing. The Klan had in '80 [1980], I think, it was '80 [1980], '79 [1979] or '80 [1980] had, well, let me back up. There was a group called the Communist Workers' Party [CWP], and they were a radical group, okay. But they were doing work down in, in North Carolina, in Greensboro [North Carolina], organizing against the Klan, and it was all over the place and they were part of the coalition too. We, you know, we weren't, we didn't discriminate. So they were preparing for a demonstration in Greensboro, this CWP Party, and they were, you know, they were radical, one of the problems is you can't go down south calling folks out, okay, because they got guns down there, this is not like New York, and it's kind of like the, the, the rappers today, you know, they got guns too, so you can't be dissing guys like that, they'll shoot you, (laughter) you know, that's what happens. They don't call them gangsters for nothing. So they had said, called the Klan cowards and so the Klan had aligned itself in Greensboro with the Nazi Party, yeah. And these Nazis and Klansmen drove up to the parade assembly place and they parked their cars, they get out and the word, the way it's described was they got out coolly, calmly with cigarettes dripping from their mouths, went to their trucks, in their trunks, and got semiautomatic weapons and rifles and proceeded to kill people, cold-blooded murder, just shooting at people, boom, boom, boom, shooting at 'em. I don't remember whether they killed or just maimed but they, they, they, I believe that they killed people, as I recall. And it was alleged, I always gotta say that, that an, an, an agent or an informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives), was part of the group, not that he shot anybody but he was aware of the situation. And that's always a problem when they, 'cause the, the government frequently infiltrates the Klan and the problem for the informant now, and they infiltrate Mafia, the same thing, do they, and do they advise the government that these guys plan to kill somebody or kill some people or do they go along with it, not kill but just don't stop it, it's always an issue. I mean, my, my, to me it's pretty simple, you stop, you don't let people kill people, that's easy. So they killed these people, shoot them, maim them, right in the middle of the community.

Kenneth Carlton Edelin

Kenneth C. Edelin, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine, was born in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 1939. Educated in segregated Washington schools through the eighth grade, Edelin graduated from the private Stockbridge School in Western Massachusetts. After graduating from Columbia University in 1961, Edelin taught math and science at Stockbridge School for two years; he then attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned his M.D. degree in 1967.

In 1973, Edelin worked as the chief resident in obstetrics at Boston City Hospital. Performing abortions after the Roe v. Wade decision, Edelin was indicted for manslaughter in 1974 when he surgically terminated a pregnancy. Convicted on February 15, 1975, and sentenced to one year of probation, Edelin’s case drew national attention. Edelin appealed the decision and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts overturned the conviction on December 17, 1976.

A national leader in the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Edelin chaired the PPFA board of directors from 1989 to 1992. Edelin also served on both the New England and national boards of the Legal Defense and Education Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and chaired the Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women of the American College of Obstetrics. In 2007, Edelin authored the autobiographical novel Broken Justice which told the story of his legal struggle for abortion rights in the 1970s. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America established an award in Edelin’s name to honor individuals who excelled in areas of leadership in reproductive health care and reproductive rights. Dr.

Edelin passed away on December 30, 2013.

Accession Number

A2005.104

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/21/2005

Last Name

Edelin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Columbia University

Stockbridge High School

Meharry Medical College

Lovejoy Elementary School

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

EDE03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

If You Doing What You've Always Done, You're Going To Keep On Getting What You Always Got.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

3/31/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Death Date

12/30/2013

Short Description

Medical professor Kenneth Carlton Edelin (1939 - 2013 ) was professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine. Edelin, who became nationally known in the 1970s for his legal battles for abortion rights, served as a leader in the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Employment

Boston City Hospital

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenneth Carlton Edelin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his mother's family background and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his maternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin talks about his father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin recalls the lessons he learned from his maternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his oldest brother, Robert Mansfield Edelin

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his brother, Milton Edelin

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his sister, Norma Edelin Johnson

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his childhood neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin recalls his time at Lovejoy Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin remembers giving his sixth grade graduation speech to his dying mother

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his reaction to his mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin explains how he entered Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes the diverse student body at Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin recalls overcoming his stutter at Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes the factors that led to his interest in medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin recalls his time at Columbia University in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin remembers teaching at Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin explains why he attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his experiences at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin remembers serving in the U.S. Air Force as a general practitioner and obstetrician gynecologist

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin talks about moving to Boston, Massachusetts and his family

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his residency at Boston City Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin remembers his time as first African American chief resident at Boston City Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin recalls his trial for manslaughter for performing an abortion shortly after Roe v. Wade

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin remembers appealing the verdict of his case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his accomplishments as chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston City Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin talks about his private practice in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his second wife and their children, Joseph and Corrine Edelin

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin talks about his involvement with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his involvement with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin recalls giving two speeches on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes his future plans and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Kenneth Carlton Edelin narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Kenneth Carlton Edelin recalls his time at Lovejoy Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
Kenneth Carlton Edelin remembers appealing the verdict of his case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Transcript
Tell me about your years at Lovejoy Elementary School [Lovejoy School, Washington, D.C.]. What was that experience like?$$That was, that was a defining experience for me. And, it was defining for lots of reasons. First of all, Washington, D.C. in the '40s [1940s] and through the early '50s [1950s] was segregated. Everything was segregated. All of the public schools were segregated. There were two, only two or three swimming pools that we could go to during the summer to swim. There were colored theaters. There was the Republic Theatre [Washington, D.C.], and there was the Plymouth Theatre [Washington, D.C.]. And, we couldn't go to white theaters. There was the Howard Theatre [Washington, D.C.], which preceded the Apollo [Theatre, Washington, D.C.] by about ten or fifteen years. Where I remember being taken by my parents [Ruby Goodwin Edelin and Benedict Edelin] to see Louis Armstrong and Stepin Fetchit, and, and all of those folks. But, Lovejoy Elementary School was, was one of the better elementary schools in Washington. All of my teachers were black, or as we said at the time, colored. They had a deep and abiding interest in us. They knew our parents. They expected the best from us. They insisted that we perform at a very high level. And, I remember in second or third grade, the teacher was going around the classroom and asking each student what they wanted to be when they grew up. And, my best friend was sitting next to me who happened to live on my block and he, he said, "I wanna be a truck driver;" smart guy. I remember him very well. Very nice. My very best friend, and very smart. But, he said he wanted to be a truck driver. Well, hell, if he wanted to be a truck driver, I wanted to be one too. So, when she got to me, she said, "Kenneth, what do you wanna be?" And, I said, "I wanna be a truck driver." She said, "What!" And, she stopped and she stood back and she put her hand on her hip, "You wanna be a truck driver? You don't have to go to college to be a truck driver. You need to go to college. You need to be a doctor." And, I said, "Yes, ma'am." You know, I don't know why she jumped on me. I don't know why she insi--she didn't say that Juney [ph.], who was sitting right next to me. But, she said it to me. And, it was something about me or the fact that she knew my parents, or the way I looked, or what she expected of me, that she expected something from me.$$What grade was this? Do you remember how far along you were?$$Third grade, fourth grade; very young, very young. So, it was a feeling that the teachers really cared about us. They knew our families. They had very high expectations for, at least some of us. And, pushed us to excel and to achieve.$The verdict went against the weight of the evidence. Nobody, but nobody after hearing the evidence presented at trial and our arguments against [Newman A.] Flanagan's theory of the case, which changed in the middle of the case by the way, nobody, but nobody thought that I would be found guilty. But, that jury, in this city, with that district attorney, was like the perfect storm. It all came together, at the right place, and at the right time. And, it had a chilling effect on women's healthcare. Hospitals around town stopped doing abortions. Hospitals around town stopped letting residents do pregnancy terminations all up and down the East Coast. Hospitals changed the rules and regulations as to who was eligible for pregnancy terminations and who could do them. It had a chilling effect, which is what they wanted. They wanted to attack a woman's right to choose. They wanted to attack the [U.S.] Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade [1973]. And, they did. And, they were successful. We, of course, appealed the case. I had to go out on the speaking circuit to raise money to pay for the enormous legal bills which a trial of this nature mounted, and engendered, and caused. And, and at the end of every speech whether it was here in Boston [Massachusetts], or whether it was in Chicago [Illinois], or Los Angeles [California], we passed the hat. We'd pass a bucket. And, ask people to contribute to the Kenneth Edelin Defense Fund. And, we raised enough money to pay for not only the cost of the trial but also the cost of the appeal. And, in December of 1976, after we argued before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts [SJC], the verdict was overturned. And, not only did the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts overturn the verdict, they entered a new verdict of not guilty, which precluded, prevented, stopped, Newman Flanagan from coming after me again. If they had just thrown out the verdict, he could've come back at me. But, they now--$$How'd you feel?$$Not only did they throw out the verdict, they entered the verdict of not guilty, which was vindication but the scar remains.$$How'd you feel that day?$$That's an interesting question. It's similar to the question how I felt, if you don't mind my say so, when people ask me how I felt when I was sentenced. After I was convicted, I had to be sentenced. And, they judge sentenced me to a year's probation. Well, they say, "Well, you should feel good about having a year's probation." I said, "I shouldn't've been convicted at all. I shouldn't've been indicted at all." So, yeah, I'm happy I'm not going to jail, 'cause I heard all kinds of stories about who was waiting for me at Norfolk County Prison [Norfolk County Correctional Center, Dedham, Massachusetts]. But, I shouldn't've been indicted or convicted in the first place. And, so when the verdict was overturned, I was, I was, it was like huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I was, I was free. I was free. And, that was in December of 1976. And, the SJC said in the final paragraph of their decision, "In the calm of appellate review, it is clear that there was no malice of thought and no criminal intent in providing the care to his patient that the defended provided. And, prosecutors cannot judge what a physician does because prosecutors are not there when decisions are made under the circumstances which they are made." So, that was 1976. Four years later I was chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University [School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts] in Boston City Hospital [Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts]. And, that was the real vindication, if you will.