John Randolph Neal, Jr.
1876 – 1959
Who was John Randolph Neal, Jr.?
John Randolph Neal, Jr. was an American attorney, law professor, politician, and activist, best known for his role as chief counsel during the 1925 Scopes Trial, and as an advocate for the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1920s and 1930s. He also taught law at the University of Denver and the University of Tennessee, and served in the Tennessee state legislature. He was a candidate for governor or senator numerous times between 1912 and 1954.
Known as "The Great Objector" for his uncomprising support of progressive causes, Neal was among the U.T. faculty members fired in 1923 by the school's administration in a controversy that became known as the "Slaughter of the Ph.Ds." He campaigned for civil liberties, public control of waterways, and workers' rights, and defended striking workers pro bono on several occasions. Neal is often remembered for his eccentric personality and unconventional behavior, which included an almost total disregard for his own appearance.
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