Stephan Mickle, a pioneering judge who taught law at the University of Florida for 38 years, died on January 26. He was 76 years old and had suffered from cancer.
A native of Daytona Beach, Florida, Mickle was one of seven African American students who racially integrated the University of Florida in 1962. Three years later, he became the first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree at the university. He also earned a master’s degree in education from the university and later became the second African American to earn a law degree at the Univerity of Florida.
After opening a private law practice in 1972, Mickle became the first African-American county judge in Alachua County in 1979. Later, he became the first African-American to serve as federal judge in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Florida.
Mickle served as an adjunct professor at the University of Florida College of Law from 1971 to 2009. In 1999, he was the first African American to be named a distinguished alumnus of the university.