Joseph W. Hatchett (CREDIT: Florida Supreme Court)

1st Black man on Florida Supreme Court dies at 88

The first Black man to serve on the Florida Supreme court has died. Joseph W. Hatchett was 88.

The court announced Saturday that Hatchett died in Tallahassee. No cause of death was given.

Hatchett was the first African American on the state high court when he was appointed by then Gov. Reubin Askew in 1975, according to the court.

In 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter named Hatchett to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hatchett graduated from Florida A&M University in 1954, then earned his law degree in 1959 from the Howard University School of Law,

Hatchett also worked as a federal prosecutor and in private practice.

Author: The Associated Press
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