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D'Army Bailey

D'Army Bailey

D'Army Bailey (November 29, 1941 – July 12, 2015) was an African-American lawyer, circuit court judge, civil rights activist, author, and film actor. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, he served as a city councilman in Berkeley, California, from 1971-73. Bailey was the founder of the National Civil Rights Museum which opened in 1991 at Memphis’s Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was slain in 1968. His 1993 book, Mine Eyes Have Seen: Dr. Martin Luther King’s Final Journey, focused on that period. A second book, The Education of a Black Radical, published in October 2009 by LSU Press, recalls Bailey's own history in the civil rights movement. His interest in civil liberties issues also led Bailey to film, where he portrayed a judge in the 1999 film The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996).He had roles in seven other movies, including portrayals ranging from a minister to a street-hustling pool player. Bailey received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2010. As a lawyer, he practiced for 16 years in Memphis before being elected as a judge in the Circuit Court of Tennessee's Thirtieth Judicial District in 1990. He presided over a nationally recognized trial lasting four months in 1999 in which three major tobacco firms were acquitted of wrongdoing in contributing to the deaths of smokers. He was twice nominated to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court.In September 2009, Bailey retired from the bench and became a member of Wilkes & McHugh, PA, a national civil litigation law firm, founded in 1985 by Jim Wilkes and Tim McHugh. In 2014, he was again elected to the bench and returned to office September 1, 2014. Bailey lectured at law schools, including Harvard, Loyola in California, Washington and Lee, Washington University in St. Louis, and Notre Dame University. He published legal articles at the law schools at Harvard University, the University of Toledo, Washington and Lee, and Howard University. Bailey has served on the executive committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference.
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