Julius Chambers, 1936 – 2013

Nationally-known civil rights attorney and Mount Gilead native Julius Chambers has died. The 76-year-old Chambers was reportedly in declining health for the past several months.

Nationally-known civil rights attorney and Mount Gilead, N.C. native Julius Chambers argued and won eight landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. (UNC photo, 2007)

Nationally-known civil rights attorney and Mount Gilead, N.C. native Julius Chambers argued and won eight landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. (UNC photo, 2007)

Julius Chambers is most famous for a string of civil rights cases he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 1971’s Swann vs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, resulting in mandated busing to help integrate public schools.

Chambers won all eight cases he took to the Supreme Court.

Julius Chambers practiced law from an office in Charlotte until 1984, when we became director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York, a post once held by Thurgood Marshall. In 1993, Chambers returned to his home state as chancellor of North Carolina Central University and, in 2001 left Central to rejoin his old law practice in Charlotte.

Julius Chambers was born Oct. 6, 1936, in Mount Gilead, son of William “Shine” Chambers and Mathilda Braton Chambers. Funeral arrangements were incomplete when this story was published.

Additional resources:

“Pioneering civil rights attorney Julius Chambers dies”, Dannye Romine Powell & David Perlmutt, Charlotte Observer, Aug. 3, 2013

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