Judge Robert Duncan talks about his longtime friend, William Saxbe, Sunday, Sept. 5 during his memorial service.
Photo: Bill Lackey
Photo: Bill Lackey

Ohio’s first black Supreme Court justice dies at 85

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Robert Morton Duncan – the first black judge to serve on the state’s high court – died Friday at 85.

Duncan served on the Supreme Court from 1969 to 1971. He was also the first black judge of the Franklin County Municipal Court and the first to serve on the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio.

Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney, D-Cincinnati, praised Duncan as “an exemplary leader for many aspiring young, African American lawyers, including myself, by making history as the jurist to break racial barriers in his quest for justice.”

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