UA administrator, civic leader John Blackburn dies

Published 2:07 pm Monday, July 6, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — John L. Blackburn, a veteran administrator at the University of Alabama who was instrumental in the school’s successful desegregation in 1963, has died. He was 84.

University officials released a statement Sunday night announcing Blackburn’s death on Friday but did not include the cause.

Blackburn became the assistant dean of men in 1956, and went on to serve as dean of men, dean for student development and vice president for educational development.

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He is credited with playing a central role in the school’s desegregation by working to assure the enrollment of Vivian Malone and James Hood on June 11, 1963.

The school recognized him by establishing the Blackburn Institute in his honor in 1995. The leadership development program links state leaders in business and public service with outstanding UA students and Blackburn fellows.