Bell, Derrick Jr.

Bell, Derrick (Albert) Jr.

(1930–  ) legal scholar; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is best known for his work combating racism, discrimination, and poverty, as an attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1960–66) and as a deputy director of the National Office of Civil Rights (1966–68). He taught at Harvard Law School (1969–80), served as dean of the University of Oregon Law School (1981–86), and then returned to Harvard in 1986. In 1990 he took a leave of absence to protest the lack of any African-American women on the Harvard Law School faculty; he was formally fired when he refused to return two years later. He continued with his writing, lecturing, and teaching.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.