Matthew J. Perry

#163,872
Most Influential Person

First African-American federal judge from the deep south, led the court case to integrate Clemson University, civil rights attorney,

Why Is Matthew J. Perry Influential?

According to Wikipedia, Matthew James Perry Jr. was an attorney and in 1979 appointed as the first African-American United States District Judge in South Carolina, serving on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. In 1976 he had been the first African-American attorney from the Deep South to be appointed to the federal judiciary, which he served on the United States Court of Military Appeals. Perry established his career with civil rights litigation, defending Gloria Blackwell in Orangeburg, South Carolina, in her 1962 suit against her arrest for sitting in the whites-only area of the regional hospital while waiting for emergency treatment for her daughter. Other landmark cases included achieving the integration of Clemson University and reapportionment of the state legislature.

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