Charles Ogletree, longtime legal and civil legal rights scholar at Harvard Law University, dies at 70

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Charles J. Ogletree Jr., a law professor and civil legal rights scholar with a distinguished career at Harvard Legislation College and whose checklist of clients ranged from Anita Hill to Tupac Shakur, died Friday soon after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s illness. He was 70.

A California native who often spoke of his humble roots, Ogletree labored in the farm fields of the Central Valley right before establishing himself as a authorized scholar at one of the nation’s most popular legislation educational institutions where by he taught Barack and Michelle Obama.

Harvard Legislation School Dean John F. Manning shared news of Ogletree’s loss of life in a concept to the campus local community Friday.

“Charles was a tireless advocate for civil legal rights, equality, human dignity, and social justice,” Manning mentioned in the message that the legislation college emailed to The Connected Push. “He modified the environment in so numerous approaches, and he will be sorely missed in a world that incredibly a lot requires him.”

Ogletree represented Hill when she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in the course of the long term U.S. Supreme Court justice’s Senate confirmation hearings in 1991.

He defended the late rapper Tupac Shakur in legal and civil situations. He also fought unsuccessfully for reparations for members of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black community who survived a 1921 white supremacist massacre.

Ogletree was surrounded by his household when he died peacefully at his home in Odenton, Maryland, his loved ones stated in a statement.

Ogletree went community with the news that he’d been identified with Alzheimer’s in 2016. He retired from Harvard Law School in 2020. The Merced County courthouse in California’s agricultural heartland was named after him in February in recognition of his contributions to regulation, instruction and civil rights.

Ogletree did not go to the ceremony unveiling his identify on the courthouse His brother explained to the group that collected in the city in the San Joaquin Valley that his brother was his hero and that he would have anticipated him to say what he’d explained lots of moments in advance of: “I stand on the shoulders of some others.”

“He usually wishes to give credit rating to other individuals and not take credit history himself, which he so richly deserves,” Richard Ogletree explained to the gathering.

Charles J. Ogletree Jr. grew up in poverty on the south aspect of the railroad tracks in Merced in an space of Black and brown households. His mothers and fathers ended up seasonal farm laborers, and he picked peaches, almonds and cotton in the summertime. He went to college at Stanford College prior to Harvard.

Manning reported in his information Friday that Ogletree had a “monumental impact” on Harvard Law Faculty.

“His incredible contributions stretch from his perform as a working towards attorney advancing civil legal rights, legal defense, and equal justice to the alter he introduced to Harvard Legislation University as an impactful establishment builder to his generous function as teacher and mentor who confirmed our pupils how law can be an instrument for modify,” he said.

Ogletree is survived by his spouse, Pamela Barnes, to whom he was married for 47 several years his two youngsters, Charles J. Ogletree, III and Rashida Ogletree-George and four grandchildren.

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