Ohio Supreme Court, OSU To Honor First Black Justice

A native of Urbana, Ohio, Robert M. Duncan was the first African- American elected to the Franklin County Municipal Court and the Ohio Supreme Court.(Photo: OSU Moritz College of Law)
A native of Urbana, Ohio, Robert M. Duncan was the first African- American elected to the Franklin County Municipal Court and the Ohio Supreme Court.(Photo: OSU Moritz College of Law)

The first black justice to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court will be remembered during a memorial service on the campus of his alma mater, Ohio State University.

The court says the service for former Justice Robert M. Duncan will be Friday afternoon at the Fawcett Center in Columbus. The mistress of ceremonies will be Justice Yvette McGee Brown, who says Duncan inspired her and many others.

Duncan died last week at age 85.

He was appointed to the high court in 1969 and served until 1971, when President Richard Nixon appointed him to the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. In 1974, Duncan was appointed to the federal court in Columbus, where he decided the city’s historic schools’ desegregation cases.

Duncan is survived by his wife and their three children.

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