In memory of
John Andrew Martin, a Dallas attorney for 50 years, died October 29, 2019 in Flagstaff, Arizona where he had resided for a very short few months. John was the only child of John Harlan and Bernice Teal Martin. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama on April 29, 1938. After spending his early years in various small towns in rural Alabama, his formative years were spent in Birmingham. John attended his neighborhood elementary school, Woodrow Wilson, and was transferred to a Special Class at Elyton Elementary in the fifth grade. John graduated from Phillips High School in 1955. He was President of his Senior Class, a member of the National Honor Society and Captain of the State Champion High School Math Team. He played basketball, football, and ran the mile in track. He was the recipient of the Fred Singleton Trophy as his school's Outstanding Scholar-Athlete. John graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 1959, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He was the Editor of the Hilltop News and President of the Senior Class. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. John played on the Panther's basketball team his first two years, was a member of its swimming team his last two years and co-captain of the team his senior year. He received the Hugh H. Robertson's Medal as the Best All-Around Athlete his junior and senior years. In 1996, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Birmingham-Southern. John was a member of the Class of 1962 at Harvard Law School where he was a two-year Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Two other graduates of Birmingham-Southern College were in the Class of 1962 which for many years was remembered as "The Class of Birmingham-Southern." He graduated Magna Cum Laude. On graduation from Law School, John became a Staff Attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where he served until December 31, 1964. The primary task of the Division at that time was to enforce the provisions of the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts which were exclusively concerned with enforcing the rights of African-American citizens to vote without discrimination or intimidation. In the late summer of 1962, John was sent to the University of Mississippi in preparation for the court ordered admission of its first African-American student, James Meredith. After Meredith's admission, John was one of three Division Attorneys assigned, on a rotating basis, to the Ole Miss campus to relate to the University Administration and to coordinate the continued presence of 10,000 members of the Third Army and the 16 U.S. Deputy Marshalls assigned to protect Meredith. In June 1963, John was the Division Attorney who supervised the admission to the Ole Miss School of Law of its first African American student, Cleve McDowell. From there, John was sent to Tuscaloosa in advance of the admission of Vivian Malone and James Hood to the University of Alabama. John was in the registration room where, on the porch outside, Gov. George C. Wallace denied-very temporarily-the admission of the two students. That Fall, he-John, not Gov. Wallace-was in charge of overseeing the desegregation of the Talladega school system. John was the lead lawyer in trying the Tallahatchie County voting discrimination case. The District Court granted the Government's request for an injunction: The first time a Voting Rights case had been won at the District Court level in Mississippi. John spent much of "The Long Hot Summer" of 1964 in Mississippi. He worked on the team of lawyers that sought-unsuccessfully-to obtain Grand Jury indictments of the murderers of Micky Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman in Philadelphia, Mississippi. John became an associate at the Dallas firm of Carrington Johnson & Stephens on January 1, 1965 and was made a partner in the successor firm of Carrington, Coleman on its formation on January 1, 1970. He remained with that firm until his retirement on December 31, 2014. Earlier in his Dallas career, John did what most young lawyers at small firms do: A little bit of everything. Early on he was local counsel for a number of national brokerage firms such as E. F. Hutton and Bache & Co. During his career, John represented Children's Medical Center, the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (now GuideStone Financial), Continental Telephone Company of Texas (later Contel), and the Dallas Independent School District. John was elected to the DISD Board in the fall of 1981 and again in 1983. Other than his desire to restore the DISD to its historic place of significance in the community, he also attempted to cause the federal courts to curtail, if not desist from, their domination of the District. In his own words, he "was a spectacular failure." John served for what was estimated to be well over 100 years of service to various charitable boards in Dallas. Among those charities were the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, Children's Medical Center, Special Care and Career Center (now LaunchAbility) and the Dallas Legal Aid Society. In 1993 he received the Justinian Award presented annually to a Dallas lawyer "in recognition of long-standing dedication to volunteer service benefitting the City of Dallas." In 2000, Children's presented John with the Joe M. Dealey Award for Volunteer Leadership. In 2007, he received the Theodore P. Beasley Award in "recognition of outstanding service and volunteer leadership to the YMCA." He was also a recipient of LaunchAbility's Milton P. Levy Award for Outstanding Service. John was licensed to practice law in both the District of Columbia and in the State of Texas. He was a member of the Texas, Dallas and American Bar Associations and served on various Bar committees. He was Member of the American Law Institute, a founding member of the Dallas Bar Foundation and a member of the Texas Bar Foundation. He was also a Lecturer in Constitutional Law at SMU School of Law in the '70's. On October 28, 1954, John took the Preacher's daughter, Anne Bowles, on her first date to see the movie, Rear Window. There were two conditions: (1) Had to double date; no problem; (2) Anne had to be home by 11:00; also, no problem until 10 minutes of 11:00 when Perry Mason left his rear window apartment and headed to the other side of the courtyard to kill James Stewart. Despite not seeing the end of the movie, John and Anne were eventually married on August 11, 1961. John spent the last months of his life in Flagstaff, Arizona with his son, Dr. Andrew Martin, and grandchildren, Nathan and Rachel. He was preceded in death by his son, Charles Harlan (Charlye) Martin, and by his wife of 51 years, Anne Bowles Martin. He is survived by his son, Andrew (Laurie Steinberg), and his grandchildren, Nathan and Rachel. Services will be held in Dallas, Texas on November 11 at 10:00 am at Park Cities Baptist Church.
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