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John Hervey Wheeler

Biography: 

John Hervey Wheeler (1908-1978) was a businessman, lawyer, political activist, and civil rights activist.  Wheeler was born in Bronx, North Carolina.  Wheeler’s father took a position with North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company as a regional supervisor in Atlanta when John was four years old.  Wheeler was raised among Atlanta’s black elite, was a member of Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and finished his high school education at Morehouse College.  Wheeler graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College with a BA in accounting and finance.  He later received a Bachelor of Laws from North Carolina College.  As a lawyer he became the first to challenge segregated schooling in the North Carolina public schools.  He worked on the 1950 court case Blue v. Durham, where the judge ruled that Durham schools were unequal and that the local school board needed to equalize spending for all schools.

The interview transcript identifies him as T.H. Wheeler, and in Who Speaks for the Negro one reference to him is indexed under the name W. H. Wheeler.    

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