In Memoriam

Theodore McMillian (1919-2006), the great-grandson of slaves and the first black judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, died this past week after undergoing kidney dialysis treatment. He was 86 years old.

Judge McMillian worked as a janitor to pay his way through Lincoln University, the historically black institution in Jefferson City, Missouri. After graduating with a degree in mathematics, he took a job as a Pullman porter while attending law school at St. Louis University. After graduating first in his class, no established law firm in St. Louis would hire him. When he started his own practice, no office building in the downtown area would rent him space.

In 1953 McMillian became the first black state prosecutor in Missouri. Three years later he was appointed to a state judgeship. He was appointed to the federal bench by President Carter in 1978. He took senior status in 2003.


Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.