Dr. John Hope Franklin Bio
John Hope Franklin is James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus and for seven years was Professor of Legal History at Duke University's Law School. He is a native of Oklahoma and a graduate of Fisk University, receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard University in 1935 and 1941 respectively. Professor Franklin has
taught at several institutions including Fisk, North Carolina Central, and Howard Universities as well as St. Augustine's College in North Carolina. From 1956 to 1964 he served as Chairman of the History Department at Brooklyn College. He joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1964, and was named John Mathews Manly Distinguished Service Professor in 1969 while serving as Chairman of the History Department between 1967 and 1970. In 1982, he became Professor Emeritus.
Perhaps best known for his study, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, now in its eighth edition, his other works include The Militant South, 1800-1860 (1956), Reconstruction After the Civil War (1962), The Emancipation Proclamation (1963), A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North (1976), Racial Equality in America (1976), GeorgeWashington Williams: A Biography (1985), Race and History: Selected Essays 1938-1988 (1990), The Color Line: Legacy for the 21st Century (1993) and, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (1999), co-authored with former student, Loren Schweninger. In addition to numerous essays and reviews, Dr. Franklin is the editor of The Civil War Diary of James T. Ayers (1947), A Fool's Errand (1961), Army Life in a Black Regiment (1962), African Americans and the Living Constitution (1995), co-edited with former student, Genna Rae McNeil, and most recently, My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck C. Colbert Franklin (1997), co-edited with his son, John Whittington Franklin. Professor Franklin is currently writing his autobiography, "The Vintage Years."
John Hope Franklin has served on a variety of commissions and boards, and has been the recipient of numerous awards. He served on the National Council of the Humanities (1976-78), and the Presidential Advisory Board on Ambassadorial Appointments (19977-81), the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (1978-81). He was Chairman of the Advisory Board to the President's Initiative on Race (1997-99) and of the National Parks System Advisory Board (1999-present). He has received the Jefferson Medal Award (1984), Turner Broadcasting Corporation's Trumpet Award (1994), Presidential Medal of Freedom Award (1995), NAACP Spingarn Medal (1995), Helmrich Award (1997). In 1998, he was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, and in 1999 was the first African American recipient of the Truman Good Neighbor Award. He was selected "Tar-Heel of the Year" (1999) by North Carolina's News and Observer, and received the Skirball Human Values Award, Lincoln Prize, and the Harold Washington Literary Award last year.
In addition to having been historical consultant on Steven Spielberg's Oscar nominated film, Amistad, Dr. Franklin, in 1997, was featured in First Person Singular: John Hope Franklin, a PBS televised work which chronicles his life experiences. John Hope Franklin was featured in WUNC's "Biographical Conversations," a more than 10-hour interview broadcast last fall.
In February of 2001, Duke University will celebrate the opening of the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies. A newly renovated facility located in Durham, the Center will seek to promote "innovative approaches to research and teaching on race, equality, and other fundamental issues of social life and human understanding.
Professor John Hope Franklin is presently the recipient of one hundred and twenty-six honorary degrees.