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Breaking News: Historian John Hope Franklin Dies

Noted historian Dr. John Hope Franklin, whose scholarship increased the nation’s understanding and knowledge of African-Americans in its history, died of congestive heart failure this morning in Durham, N.C. He was 94.

A writer, educator and humanitarian, Franklin made significant contributions to shaping the perception of American history. Franklin was the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History and for seven years was Professor of Legal History in the Law School at Duke University.

A prolific writer, Franklin’s numerous publications include From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, The Emancipation Proclamation and The Militant South. Franklin wrote From Slavery to Freedom in an attempt to tell the story of the United States more fairly and adequately.

Notably, Franklin was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to lead a panel of advisers on promoting racial understanding in the United States. His contributions have been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

A native of Oklahoma, Franklin graduated from Fisk University and earned his doctorate in history from Harvard University.

In an effort to institutionalize and celebrate his scholarly contributions to the nation, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education established an award in his name in 2004.

David Jarmul, a spokesman for Duke University, said Franklin died at Duke Hospital of congestive heart failure.

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