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New star on St. Louis Walk of Fame honors attorney Frankie Freeman

Frankie Freeman speaking at her induction into the St. Louis Walk of Fame 2015.
Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

There’s a new name gracing the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Today a star was dedicated to civil rights advocate and attorney Frankie Muse Freeman.

The 98-year-old Freeman was surrounded by loved ones and admirers as she received her star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame on Delmar Boulevard.  

“I’ve been blessed with my family. But, especially, am I blessed with the fact that some of them, my daughter, my nephews and nieces are here,” Freeman said as she addressed the crowd. “But for all of you, I consider you are my family. My pastor’s here. I say, everybody’s here. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

The walk of fame is located in the Delmar Loop. Golden plaques naming remarkable St. Louisans are inlayed in the sidewalk on both sides of the street.   

A 120-member committee chooses several individuals each year to honor with the stars on the Walk of Fame. This year singer Christine Brewer, cartoonist and writer Lee Falk and Freeman were selected.

Freeman said she was shocked when she found out she would be honored on the Walk of Fame, but a look at her list of accomplishments during her 60-year legal career suggest the honor is well deserved.

Freeman was the first woman to serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. As a lawyer, she argued against public housing segregation in St. Louis, one of several cases she worked on with the NAACP. Just this February, she became a member of the Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Credit Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Freeman has many other honors. She's been recognized by the NAACP and the National Bar Association.

Joe Edwards, founder of the St. Louis Walk of Fame, said Freeman was an overwhelming favorite during the selection processes because of her work improving the quality of life across America.

She is a gem,” Edwards said. “We are so pleased and lucky to have her as a St. Louis citizen and she continues marching on to this day.”

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who attended the induction ceremony, said Freeman’s honor is a testament to the contributions she’s made to the St. Louis community and the country.

“She’s still active. She still cares. She’s still great. And, as I said, she is one of my favorite St. Louisans of all time,” Slay said.

Darlene Green, comptroller of the city of St. Louis, said she’s known and admired Freeman for years. She said it’s important for the community to honor Freeman’s legacy.  

“Right here in St. Louis you have a living legend, right here there is a strong stalwart and fighter on behalf of social justice,” she said.  

Although Freeman stopped practicing law in 2009, she said her mission is to continue to help others.

“I’m honored,” Freeman said when her star was unveiled. “I love St. Louis. I love doing whatever I can. My prayer each day is to order my steps. Help me to be of service. Help me to make a difference.”  

The next person scheduled to be inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame later this month, is writer and cartoonist Lee Falk.

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