January 11, 1989 1 min read

Wiley Austin Branton, a civil-rights lawyer who represented the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957, is dead at 65.

Mr. Branton later served with the U.S. Justice Department and was executive director of the President’s Council on Equal Opportunity in the 1960’s.

In 1977, he was appointed dean of the Howard University Law School, where he served for six years. He was a partner with the law firm Sidley & Austin at the time of his death.

James H. Meredith, a senior federal district judge who presided over controversial efforts to desegregate the St. Louis public schools, is dead at 74.

Appointed to the federal court in 1962 by President Kennedy, Judge Meredith ruled in 1979 that the St. Louis Board of Education was not responsible for racial imbalance in the classrooms.

The ruling was later reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which ordered the judge to supervise immediate desegregation in the school system. Judge Meredith subsequently approved a citywide plan.

A version of this article appeared in the January 11, 1989 edition of Education Week as Milestones