American lawyer and civil rights activist who advocated for voting reform and became the first female African-American professor at Harvard Law School to be tenured.
She knew as a child that she wanted to be a civil rights lawyer, and graduated from Yale Law School in 1974 and later became head of the NAACP's Voting Rights project.
She received numerous awards including the Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women's Political Caucus and the Rosa Parks Award, and she was awarded ten honorary degrees.
She married fellow professor Nolan Bowie in 1986 and the pair has one child.
President Bill Clinton nominated her for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in 1993, but her nomination was later withdrawn.