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Historian John Hope Franklin Dies

Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and historian John Hope Franklin, whose work defined the field of African-American history, died from congestive heart failure Wednesday at Duke University hospital. He was 94.

Franklin played a key role in pivotal civil rights events of the 20th century. He was the author of the seminal 1947 book, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans.

Franklin was the first African-American to chair a history department at a majority white institution and the first to preside over major historical associations — all the while enduring the racism of his day.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott can be heard telling stories from her native South. She covers the latest news and politics, and is attuned to the region's rich culture and history.