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Odell Horton

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Title: Odell Horton  
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Subject: Julia Smith Gibbons, Howard University School of Law, Bernice B. Donald
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Odell Horton

Odell Horton (May 13, 1929 – February 22, 2006) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Bolivar, Tennessee, Horton was a U.S. Marine Corps from 1946 to 1947 and from 1951 to 1953. He received a B.A. from Morehouse College in 1951, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and received an LL.B. from Howard University School of Law in 1956. He was in private practice in Memphis, Tennessee from 1957 to 1962. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Tennessee from 1962 to 1968. He was a Director, Division of Hospital and Health Services, City of Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. He was a judge on the Shelby County Criminal Court, Tennessee from 1969 to 1970. He was a President, LeMoyne-Owen College from 1970 to 1974. He was a Commentator, WREC-TV (CBS) from 1972 to 1974. He was a Director, Community Health Services, Mid-South Medical Center Council, Memphis, Tennessee from 1974 to 1976.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Western District of Tennessee, 1976–1980

On February 27, 1980, Horton was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee vacated by Bailey Brown. Horton was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 9, 1980, and received his commission on May 12, 1980. He served as chief judge from 1987-1994. He assumed senior status on May 16, 1995. Horton served in that capacity until his death, in Memphis, Tennessee.


  • Federal Judicial Center.

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