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C. Clyde Ferguson Jr.
Born (1924-11-04)November 4, 1924
Wilmington, North Carolina
Died December 21, 1983(1983-12-21) (aged 59)
Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation Professor of law, diplomat
Spouse(s) Dolores Zimmerman

Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr. (November 4, 1924 – December 21, 1983) was a professor of law and an United States Ambassador to Uganda.[1]

Having experienced the horrors of World War II, as a diplomat he "labored tirelessly to safeguard and extend the fundamental freedoms" essential to world peace.[2] He was the main proponent in many decisions implementing the social provisions of the U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly in relation to apartheid, and more generally in relation to all forms of racial, religious, and cultural discrimination.[2] Ferguson was the chief draftsman of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's statement on race in 1967 and is considered the "founding father" of affirmative action.[1]

In 1969, he served as the U.S. ambassador-at-large and coordinator for civilian relief in the Nigerian civil war and negotiated the "Protocol on Relief to Nigeria Civilian Victims of the Civil War."[1] He served as ambassador to Uganda in 1970 and as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs in 1973.[1] From 1973 to 1975 he was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.[1] He had an important role in the defense of human rights in Chile, influencing U.S’s actions against Pinochet’s crimes.

Ferguson held a professorship at Rutgers University and served as dean of the Howard University School of Law[2] from 1963 to 1969.[3] He joined the faculty of Harvard Law School[1] in 1976 and worked there until his death.[3] The C. Clyde Ferguson Annual Lecture at Howard University School of Law is named after him,[4] as is the Clyde Ferguson award presented by the Association of American Law Schools.[5]

He wrote books including Materials on Trial Presentations and Racism in American Education, and contributed to U.S. Ratification of the Human Rights Treaties.[1]

Personal life

He was the son of Clarence Clyde (a minister) and Georgena (Owens) Ferguson. He was a Unitarian Universalist. He married Dolores Zimmerman, now deceased, on February 14, 1954. She was an artist.[6] Together they had three children: Claire, Hope, and Eve.[1]


He received a Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from Ohio State University in 1948, and a Bachelor of Law degree (cum laude) from Harvard University in 1951. He was awarded a Doctor of Law degree by Rutgers University in 1966, and again by Williams College in 1976.[1]

Other career events

He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. taking part in the Battle of Normandy and the fighting in Europe that followed.[2] He received a Bronze Star.[1] He worked on the legal defense team of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.[1] He served as president of the American Society of International Law from 1978 to 1980.[1][3]


  • (With Albert P. Blaustein) Desegregation and the Law: The Meaning and Effect of the School Segregation Cases, Rutgers University Press, 1957, 2nd edition, 1960.
  • Materials on Trial Presentations, Rutgers University, 1957.
  • Enforcement and Collection of Judgments and Liens, Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Rutgers University, 1961.
  • Secured Transactions: Article IX Uniform Commercial Code in New Jersey, Sooney & Sage, 1961.
  • (With others) Racism in American Education, Random House, 1970.
  • (Contributor) Lillich, editor, U.S. Ratification of the Human Rights Treaties, University of Virginia Press, 1981.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Dejean, Joseph L. (April 1984). "Humanist and Humanitarian". Cambridge, Massachusetts. pp. pp. 1262–1263. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr.". American Society of International Law. 
  4. "Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr. Annual Lecture". Howard University School of Law. 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  5. "Professor Emma Coleman Jordan Wins 2005 Clyde Ferguson Award". Georgetown Law. 2005-01-10. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  6. <New York Times, October 1982>

External references

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Henry E. Stebbins
U.S. Ambassador to Uganda
Succeeded by
Thomas Patrick Melady

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