Hon. William Augustus Bootle: 1902-2005

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There are few people who can honestly be said to have changed history. One of them was William Augustus Bootle, who died yesterday at age 102. Judge Bootle, appointed by Herbert Hoover as a U.S. Attorney and was moved to the bench by President Eisenhower.

You really ought to read this.

Retired U.S. District Judge William Augustus Bootle, who overruled Southern tradition and ordered the desegregation of the University of Georgia and Bibb County public schools, died early Tuesday. He was 102.

Bootle died peacefully at his home between 1 and 1:30 a.m., said his daughter Ann Hall.
“He went to sleep,” she said. “We had been with him, my brother and I, that afternoon.” The centenarian judge had rebounded from a pre-Christmas hospitalization for kidney trouble, but recently suffered a light stroke and was having heart failure, she said.

Bootle served as judge in the U.S. District Court in Georgia’s Middle District from 1954 until 1970 and served another 11 years as a senior judge.

Judge Bootle’s decision to desegregation UGA led to two black students entering the school, including noted journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, formerly with PBS and now with CNN.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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