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Frank M. Johnson

AKA Frank Minis Johnson, Jr.

Born: 30-Oct-1918
Birthplace: Haleyville, AL
Died: 23-Jul-1999
Location of death: Montgomery, AL
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Hill Crest City Cemetery, Haleyville, AL

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Judge
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1981-99

Military service: US Army (1943-46, Capt.)

After service in World War II, Frank M. Johnson headed "Veterans for Eisenhower", General Dwight D. Eisenhower's Alabama campaign for President in 1952. In 1953, Johnson became US Attorney in Northern Alabama, and remarkably earned the state's first conviction for peonage, a condition of debt-related servitude. Eisenhower appointed him Judge for the Middle District of Alabama, a position he held for nearly a quarter century. One of his first key decisions came in Browder v. Gayle (1956), regarding segregation in Montgomery. The issue had gained prominence after the arrest of Rosa Parks, but Browder predated the Parks case by nine months. A three-judge panel of the district court ruled the segregation unconstitutional, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court. Subsequently, the court issued a litany of civil rights cases, examples including: school desegregation in Lee v. Macon County Board of Education (1963), that blacks must serve on juries in White v. Crook (1966), and ending the poll tax in Alabama, Smith v. YMCA of Montgomery (1970). In 1977, Jimmy Carter intended to appoint him FBI Director, but health problems intervened. Carter elevated him in 1979 to the US Appeals Court.

Father: Frank Minis Johnson, Sr.
Mother: Alabama Sivilla Long
Wife: Ruth Jenkins (m. 16-Jan-1938, one son adopted)
Son: James Curtis Johnson (adopted)

    High School: Gulf Coast Military Academy, Gulfport, MS
    University: BA, University of Alabama (1939-43)
    Law School: University of Alabama School of Law

    US Appeals Court Judge, 11th Circuit (1981-99)
    US Appeals Court Judge, 5th Circuit (1979-81)
    US District Judge Middle District of Alabama (1955-79)
    US Attorney Northern District of Alabama (1953-55)
    Alabama State Bar
    Thurgood Marshall Award 1993
    Bronze Star
    Purple Heart
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 1995


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