In Memoriam: Horace Taliaferro Ward, 1927-2016

wardHorace Ward, a long-time federal judge who was the first African American to apply to the University of Georgia, died on April 23. He was 88 years old.

A native of La Grange, Georgia, Judge Ward was the valedictorian at his high school. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1949 and earned a master’s degree a year later at Atlanta University. That year, he applied to the law school at the University of Georgia but was rejected because he was an African American. After unsuccessfully challenging the decision in court, Ward joined the U.S. Army and served his nation in Korea.

Upon his return to the United States, he earned a law degree at Northwestern University in 1959. Armed with a law degree, Ward returned to Georgia and was a member of the legal team that successfully insured the admission of Hamilton Jones and Carlayne Hunter Gault to the University of Georgia in 1961.

After serving four terms in the Georgia State Senate, Ward was appointed to the Civic Court of Fulton County and later the Fulton County Superior Court. Judge Ward was appointed the federal bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. He retired from the federal bench in 2012.

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