St. Louis civil rights leader receives honorary degree from Mizzou

ST. LOUIS • Celebrated civil rights leader Frankie Muse Freeman received a honorary degree Saturday from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Freeman was the first African American woman to practice law in Missouri and a lead attorney in the 1954 NAACP lawsuit against the St. Louis Housing Authority.

President Lyndon Johnson later appointed her to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

The honor is one of many that Freeman, 100, earned during the last few years, including a star on St. Louis' Walk of Fame in 2015.

“I pray each day to be able to make a difference,” Freeman said during her Walk of Fame ceremony. “I love doing whatever I can.”

Other honorary Mizzou degree awardees included W.H. "Bert" Bates, a philanthropist and lawyer with Lathrop & Gage LLP in Kansas City, and civil rights activist Robert Parris Moses.