I just found out that Kentucky's first African-American Supreme Court Justice, William E. McAnulty, Jr., died last night after being diagnosed with lung cancer just a few months ago, in June. He was 59 years old.
I feel so sad about this. I would never claim to know Justice McAnulty personally, but I did have the opportunity to meet him. When I was in law school, I did a brief stint in his office (he was on the Court of Appeals at that time) to fulfill the public service requirements for graduation.
He was nice to me. He was an important figure in the Kentucky judiciary, and he took a few moments to sit with me, informally, and talk to me about what I was interested in, and what kind of career I hoped to have. He seemed to actually care what I had to say. He had a wicked sense of humor.
Justice McAnulty was one of the good guys. My heart goes out to his family and friends, along with my prayers.