William T. Coleman Jr. dies at 96

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He was one of the most accomplished and influential lawyers Philadelphia ever produced, but William T. Coleman Jr. died Friday in Alexandria, Virginia. (WPVI)

William T. Coleman, Jr. was one of the most accomplished and influential lawyers Philadelphia ever produced. He died Friday in Alexandria, Virginia.

He was a lifelong Republican, and also a champion of civil rights.

He was the first African American cabinet member in any Republican administration, serving as transportation secretary for President Ford.

But years before, he worked with Thurgood Marshall to write the legal briefs for Brown vs. Board of Education, the supreme court decision that outlawed segregation in public schools.

William T. Coleman Jr. dead at 96.

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