Historian John Hope Franklin Dies Noted historian John Hope Franklin died of congestive heart failure Wednesday in Durham, N.C. Franklin, 94, who chronicled the African-American experience in the South, was the James B. Duke professor of history emeritus at Duke University.

Historian John Hope Franklin Dies

Historian John Hope Franklin Dies

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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.