November 9, 2012
Remembering the Honorable Robert M. Duncan
~ written by Yvette McGee-Brown, Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio
I had the pleasure of knowing Bob Duncan for more than 30 years. I met him when I was 17 years old and had the audacity to call a federal judge and ask him why he was ordering us to change schools. From that day forward, he was my friend and mentor. Bob never sought the spot light and was embarrassed when it shined on him. He was a man of firsts, who demonstrated not only superior intellect but a genuineness of spirit that is rare for someone so accomplished.
The Bob Duncan I had the privilege of knowing was a man who was gracious and generous. The man who called me with encouragement and once told me “I could not be prouder of you if you were my own daughter.” Those words I will always cherish.
He was the man who every year sponsored a reception for African American law students to remind them of their obligation to be excellent. The man who always took time for young people; loved his family, loved the law and loved Ohio State. He established a scholarship fund at the Moritz College of Law and rarely missed an OSU football or basketball game. In fact, he was in the hospital the week before the opening football game and when I called to see how he was doing, his only concern was that he be released from the hospital in time to attend the game.
Bob Duncan was more than my friend. He was the father I never had. He lived his life with dignity, never forgetting his Urbana roots. Everyone he touched was better for having come into contact with Bob. He leaves an incredible legacy of scholarship and achievement. I will miss him so very much.