CHARLES OGLETREE

  • Charles Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law. The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, named in honor of the visionary lawyer who spearheaded the litigation in Brown v. Board of Education, opened in September 2005, and focuses on a variety of issues relating to race and justice, and will sponsor research, hold conferences, and provide policy analysis.

    Professor Ogletree’s most recent book, edited with Professor Austin Sarat of Amherst College, When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice, was published by NYU Press in January 2009. Also co-edited with Austin Sarat, From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America, was published by New York University Press in May 2006. His historical memoir, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education was published by W.W. Norton & Company in April 2004.

    Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools. Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

    In 2009 Professor Ogletree was awarded the prestigious ABA Spirit of Excellence Award in recognition of his many contributions to the legal profession. In 2008, the National Law Journal named Professor Ogletree one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America. Every year since 2006, Professor Ogletree has been named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the National Black Law Students Association, where he served as National President from 1977-1978. Professor Ogletree also received the first ever Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston, the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition, and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize. He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities and colleges including Cambridge College, Wilberforce University, the University of Miami, the New England School of Law, Lincoln College, Tougaloo College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College.

    Professor Ogletree has been married to his fellow Stanford graduate, Pamela Barnes, since 1975. They are the proud parents of two children, Charles Ogletree III and Rashida Ogletree, and grandparents to three granddaughters, Marquelle, Nia Mae, and Jamila Ogletree. The Ogletrees live in Cambridge and are members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.