WASHINGTON — William T. Coleman Jr., a civil rights lawyer from Philadelphia who prevailed in several landmark Supreme Court cases, broke a number of racial barriers in his own right and was the second African-American to lead a Cabinet-level department, has died.
Transportation secretary during the Ford administration and co-author of the main brief in Brown v. Board of Education, Coleman was a prominent Republican who advised presidents of both parties.
He died Friday at his home from complications related to Alzheimer's disease, his daughter, Lovida Coleman, said. He was 96.
Coleman's service in Ford's Cabinet from 1975 to 1977 was a high point in a career that included work on government commissions and partnerships in law firms in Philadelphia and Washington.
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Source: NBC News