Fred D. Gray, a prominent civil rights attorney who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks

Ann Keele had the pleasure of meeting Fred D. Gray, a prominent civil rights attorney who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, when she attended the ABA’s National Conference of Bar Presidents meeting in Vancouver on February 2, 2018.

Fred Gray is a civil rights attorney, preacher, and activist from Alabama. He litigated several major civil rights cases in Alabama, including some that reached the United States Supreme Court for rulings. He served as the President of the National Bar Association in 1985 and in 2001 was elected as the first African-American President of the Alabama State Bar. [1]

Mr. Gray handled several major cases which led to the desegregation of the University of Alabama and Auburn, then later all public colleges and universities in the state, along with more than 100 local school systems.[2]

Mr. Gray served in the Alabama legislature from 1970-1974. Although Mr. Gray is best known for his legal career, he began as a full-time preacher for Montgomery’s Newtown Church of Christ from 1957 until he moved to Tuskegee in 1973. After moving to Tuskegee, he helped organize the merger of the city’s black and white Churches of Christ in 1974.[3]

Mr. Gray also represented several victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. In 1932, the United States Public Health Service began a study of the effects of untreated syphilis on more than 600 African American males. After the study became public in 1972, Gray filed a lawsuit against Alabama and the U.S. Public Health Service that was settled in 1975 for $10 million and medical treatment. He has been the moving force in the establishment of the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center, which serves not only as a memorial to the participants of the Study, but also educates the public on the contributions made in the field of human and civil rights by Native Americans and Americans of African and European descent.[4]

At Monroe & Keele, P.C., the protection of civil rights are fundamental to our law firm. Our firm was founded to level the playing field.  We are committed to protecting the rights of individuals who have been harmed by the misconduct of the government by its agents and institutions. We are a premier Tulsa civil rights law firm with considerable experience in state and federal courts.



[3] Id.


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