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Haley, George (1925- )

Ambassador George Williford Boyce Haley served as the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Gambia from 1998 until 2001. Haley was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1998 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He then traveled to Banjul, the capital of Gambia to assume his post as head of the U.S. Embassy.  

George Haley was born on August 28, 1925 in Henning, Tennessee. He is the middle son between his younger brother Julius, and older brother Alex Haley, the famed Pulitzer Prize winning author of the 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. George Haley was six when he lost his mother and his father, Simon, later remarried. By this point the family had moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Haley however attended Bordentown School in Bordentown, New Jersey for his high school years. In 1943, shortly after his 18th birthday, Haley was drafted into the U.S. Air Corps and spent three years in military service.

Haley attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1946 to 1949. During his time at Morehouse College he was a fellow student of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and future Ebony magazine editor Lerone Bennett. After earning his B.A. degree Haley became in 1952 the second African American to receive a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.  

After graduation Haley joined the firm of Stevens Jackson in Kansas City, Kansas, which was already involved in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. the Board of Education. Haley worked with National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chief counsel Thurgood Marshall on the case.  Soon afterward the Supreme Court decision was handed down, he was appointed Deputy City Attorney for Kansas City, a post he held from 1954 to 1964.  In 1964 he was elected to the Kansas State Senate where he served until 1968.

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