In Memoriam: Franklin D. Cleckley, 1940-2017

Franklin D. Cleckley, the Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law Emeritus in the College of Law at West Virginia University, died on August 14 at his home in Morgantown, West Virginia. He was 77 years old.

Professor Cleckley taught at West Virginia University from 1969 until his retirement in 2013. He was the first African American to serve on the law school’s faculty and was the first full-time African American professor at the university.

In 1994, Professor Cleckley was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. He was the first African American justice to serve on the state’s highest court. He decided not to stand for election to the court in 1996.

Professor Cleckley was a native of Huntington, West Virginia. He was one of 11 children in his family. Professor Cleckley was a graduate of Anderson College in Indiana and earned his law degree at Indiana University. Later, he earned a master’s degree at Harvard Law School.


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