John P. Franklin Dies at the age of 96

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – John P. Franklin had several careers in the 96 years here on earth.

And he broke some barriers along the way.

The Franklin name, itself, has been important here for more than a hundred years.

John P. Franklin continued the funeral home business that his father started, arguably the most successful African American business here from segregation through desegregation.

The Howard High graduate attended Tuskegee College, but his education was derailed by World War II and the Army.

After his service, he returned to the family business.

But Franklin was determined to complete that education.

He would get a bachelor’s degree from Fisk and a Master’s from Indiana University.

He got into teaching and rose to become the principal at Alton Park Junior High School.

But from there, he started a new career.

Even though no African American had ever been elected to city government, Franklin decided to run for Education Commissioner in 1971.

Back then, the city council was made up of elected department heads of city government, and Chattanooga operated its own school system.

Franklin held the job and also served as vice mayor for the city until he retired from politics in 1991.

By then, his family had exited the Franklin-Strickland funeral home.

So he established a new company, the John P. Funeral home, that is still run by his family.

They have not released service information yet. 


Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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