John Doar

Today the nation learned that we lost another hero from the Civil Rights Era – John Doar, He worked alongside Nicholas President+Obama+Awards+Presidential+Medals+1o6TF0QDodvlKatzenbach at the Department of Justice and served as the head of the Civil Rights Division during Katzenbach’s tenure as Attorney General. Like Katzenbach, Doar was at many pivotal events in this nation’s fight for equal rights. It was John Doar who escorted James Meredith when he desegregated Ole Miss in 1962, and it was Doar who helped diffuse a tense situation in the wake of Medgar Evans murder a year later. And it was Doar who successfully prosecuted and got convictions in the highly publicized murder case that gripped the nation of three civil rights volunteers, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman.

A couple of years ago, fellow author and friend, Henry Gallagher, led the charge for John Doar to be recognized for his service to this nation with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Gallagher succeeded in his quest and in 2012 President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to John Doar. Just this week the White House announced this year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and among the nineteen individuals who will receive this honor are Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman posthumously.

While I was fortunate to meet John Doar on several occasions and chat with him about Katzenbach, he was a man of few words. He always agreed to an interview, but actually scheduling it proved to be a challenge and one that I never accomplished.

On this Veteran’s Day while we remember and salute those who have served and currently serve to protect this nation and the freedoms we enjoy, we also remember another a freedom fighter – John Doar, may he rest in peace.

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