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James Nabrit III
*James Nabrit III was born on this date in 1932. He was a Black civil rights attorney and legal activist.
James Madison Nabrit III was born in Houston, Texas, the son of James Nabrit, Jr., a prominent civil rights attorney, law professor, and later President of Howard University. He grew up in Washington, D.C., where he attended segregated public schools through part of high school.
He finished high school at the Mount Hermon School for Boys, now Northfield Mount Hermon, in Massachusetts. Nabrit III graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1952 and Yale Law School in 1955.
Nabrit III began his career with the Reeves, Robinson & Duncan law firm and served two years in the U.S. Army. Following the military, he spent 30 years (1959–89) as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. He was an ally of Thurgood Marshall, who won several important decisions before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Nabrit III argued many critical civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and various U.S. Courts of Appeals, including Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in 1972 and Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham in 1969. He argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court and won 9.
James Nabrit III died on March 22, 2013, in a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, suffering from lung cancer. He was 80.