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John A. Payton of NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Dead At 65

9:18 PM, Mar 22, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -  An NAACP source has confirmed that John A. Payton,  the current president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund has died.

Patyon passed away early Thursday evening at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. No cause of death was given. Payton was 65 years old.

From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Payton served as the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia. He headed the firm's Litigation Department from 1998 to 2000. Mr. Payton served as president of the District of Columbia Bar from June 2001 to June 2002.

He has taught as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and at the Georgetown Law Center. During the spring of 2007, he taught a course on "The Constitution and Democracy" at Howard University Law School, and was named the James Nabrit, Jr. Visiting Professor of Constitutional Law. He was a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In addition, he was a Master in the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court. He was prominent in civil rights cases, and perhaps most notably, he was the lead counsel in the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case.

Payton was a graduate of Pomona College and Harvard Law School.

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