Robert Belton, the first tenured African American professor at Vanderbilt Law School, died last week after suffering a stroke. He was 76 years old.
Professor Belton was a native of High Point, North Carolina. He was a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the Boston University School of Law. An expert in employment discrimination law, Belton served from 1965 to 1970 as assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. He then practiced law in Charlotte, North Carolina, for five years before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt Law School in 1975.
Professor Belton taught at Vanderbilt for 34 years before retiring in 2009. He also served as a visiting professor at the law schools at Harvard University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina Central University. In 2006 he received the Presidential Award from the National Bar Association.