John Morton-Finney was a true Renaissance man, earning an impressive 11 degrees during his lifetime. The former Buffalo Soldier Army man and educator is also considered by some historians the longest-serving lawyer of all time.

One of seven children born to a slave father and a free mother in Kentucky, he was taught the value of education early on.  He joined the military and became a part of the 24th Infantry Regiment, better known as the Buffalo Soldiers. He fought twice, once in the Phillipines and again in World War I.

Morton-Finney taught at the all-Black Crispus Attucks High School. Morton-Finney was head of the school’s foreign language departments and was responsible for encouraging several children to pursue higher education.

While teaching at Crispus Attucks in 1935, Morton-Finney earned the first of four law degrees. He was also a voracious reader, often reading three or four titles at a time, according to accounts.


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