About The Author

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.*

EJI recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson’s work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees. Bryan is the author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. *

Born in 1959, Stevenson grew up in Milton, Delaware, a small rural town located in Southern Delaware.**

As a child, Stevenson dealt with segregation and its legacy. He spent his first classroom years at a "colored" elementary school. When Stevenson was sixteen, his maternal grandfather, Clarence L. Golden, was stabbed to death in his Philadelphia home during a robbery.**

Stevenson attended Cape Henlopen High School and graduated in 1977. He played on the soccer and baseball teams.He also served as president of the student body and won American Legion public speaking contests. Stevenson won a scholarship to Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania.**

Stevenson received a full scholarship to attend Harvard Law School. During law school, as part of a class on race and poverty litigation with Elizabeth Bartholet, he worked for Stephen Bright's Southern Center for Human Rights. It represents death-row inmates throughout the South. During this work, Stevenson found his career calling. While at Harvard, he also earned a Master's in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.**

* From https://www.ted.com/speakers/bryan_stevenson
**From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia