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Fred Gray receives top award from American Bar Association


Fred Gray — a renowned civil rights attorney, longtime minister and elder of the Tuskegee Church of Christ in Alabama — recently received the American Bar Association’s highest honor.

The ABA Medal is given to a lawyer for “exceptionally distinguished service … to the cause of American jurisprudence,” according to ABA.

Gray, 92, represented key figures in the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin and John Lewis.

The Montgomery, Ala., native also acted as counsel for civil rights demonstrators, Freedom Riders and victims of the Tuskegee institute syphilis study and led efforts for the integration of Alabama schools.

Fred Gray with Rosa Parks in an undated photo.

Fred Gray with Rosa Parks in an undated photo.

He continues to practice law as a partner of Alabama firm Gray, Langford, Sapp, McGowan, Gray & Nathanson.

Gray was nominated for the ABA award by fellow lawyer Michael Flowers, a deacon of the Genessee Avenue Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio.

Michael Flowers, left, with Fred Gray at the 2023 American Bar Association meeting.

Michael Flowers, left, with Fred Gray at the 2023 American Bar Association meeting.

The two met when Flowers spoke at the 2002 commencement for the School of Law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., which is associated with Churches of Christ.

“The history of our country that Fred Gray fought to repair is systematically being deleted,” Flowers told the ABA committee in support of his nomination, referencing attacks on America’s independent judiciary and civil liberties. “Now is an opportune time for the American Bar Association to bring this history back to life by honoring a brilliant and courageous lawyer who has helped our country move forward from those unjust days in its past.”

Last year, Gray also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden.

Read more about the ABA medal at the ABA website.

Filed under: American Bar Association awards civil rights movement Fred Gray National News People Top Stories

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