Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor


Governor Hutchinson on the Passing of George W.B. Haley

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the death of George W.B. Haley:

“George Haley left a lasting mark on American jurisprudence, government and public service. He lived a large and historic life — from being just the second African-American to receive a law degree from the U of A to working on a historic civil-rights case with Thurgood Marshall and going on to serve under seven presidents. George Haley’s life reads like a novel written by his older brother, Alex. 

“All the while, George Haley’s commitment and love for Arkansas shone through. He often traveled back to his beloved U of A School of Law and mentored many from the school, including the former Dean, Cynthia Nance, and my Labor Director, Leon Jones Jr. George Haley will be missed, and his example of public service should be applauded and followed.”

George W.B. Haley was a distinguished attorney, diplomat and policy expert who served in seven presidential administrations, including being appointed U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia in West Africa by President Clinton. One of two younger brothers of Pulitzer prize-winning author Alex Haley, Ambassador Haley once resided in Pine Bluff before entering Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was a classmate and contemporary of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As the second African-American to receive a Law degree from the University of Arkansas, Haley worked with attorney Thurgood Marshall on the landmark case Brown v. Topeka, Kansas, Board of Education, which challenged the separate-but-equal ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson.

Haley’s government posts included chief counsel of the Federal Transit Administration from 1969 to 1973 and general counsel and congressional liaison of the U.S. Information Agency, now part of the State Department, from 1976 to 1977. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed Haley chairman of the Postal Rate Commission.