|Birth: ||Sep. 19, 1935|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Feb. 9, 2012|
RobertWas born in High Point, North Carolina on September 19, 1935, to the late Daniel Belton, Sr., and Mary Belton. Departed this life February 9, 2012. He was the fourth child to that union. He graduated from William Penn High School. He excelled academically and was offered a full scholarship to Morehouse College, but decided first to spend a year with a sister who was living in New York. Eventually he earned his B.A. from the University of Connecticut, and his J.D. from Boston University of Law. Robert was a trailblazer in civil rights. He was attorney, activist and scholar, serving from 1965-1970 as an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). While at the LDF, he headed a national civil rights litigation campaign to enforce what was then a new federal law that prohibited discrimination in employment based factors including but not limited to race and sex. Robert had a major role in the landmark Supreme Court civil rights case litigated by the LDF, Griggs v. Duke Power Co. Other landmark Supreme Court civil rights cases in which he was involved included Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, addressing damages in civil rights cases, and Harris v. Forklift Systems, addressing sexual harassment. After his work with the LDF, Robert practiced law from 1970-75 as a partner at the law firm of Chambers Stein Ferguson & Lanning in Charlotte, North Carolina. The firm was one of the first racially integrated law firms in the South. A nationally recognized scholar of labor, employment and civil rights law, Robert joined the faculty at Vanderbilt School of Law in 1975 and became the first African American to be granted tenure at the Law School. He was a popular and beloved teacher and mentor who particularly enjoyed working with students interested in social justice. He served as faculty advisor to the Black Law Students Association and worked with other African-American faculty on various equality issues facing the community. At Vanderbilt, Professor Belton served on numerous law school and university committees, including the Faculty Senate, the Committee on the Status of Women and Minorities, the University Research Council, the Black Cultural Center. He also served many professional committees, including the Executive Committee of the American Association of Law Schools, the Napier-Looby Bar Association and the National Employment Lawyers Association. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Chi Chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (the Boule), and the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee.
Professor Belton retired from Vanderbilt School of Law after serving 34 years. He also served as a visiting professor at the law schools at Harvard University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina Central University. In 2006 he received the Presidential Award from the National Bar Association.
He was preceded in death by 3 brothers, Daniel Belton, Jr., (Elizabeth), James Belton (Ernestine), David Belton; and 2 sisters, Pauline Scott (Carroll) and Josephine Belton.
Complete obituary published in The Tennessean on February 13, 2012
Carolina Biblical Gardens
North Carolina, USA
Created by: Catahoula Hound
Record added: Sep 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97184598