The Jack Mason Story
The Law & Democracy Initiative is named to honor the late Jack Mason, a federal magistrate judge and Books For Africa board member at the time of his death in 2002. In May of 2000 Kojo Yankah, a member of Parliament from Ghana, was visiting the Books For Africa office in St. Paul, Minnesota, and met with Judge Mason in his chambers at the federal courthouse in St. Paul. During the conversation with Mr. Yankah, Judge Mason asked if Books For Africa sent law books. When told by a BFA volunteer present at the meeting that they did not, he urged that law texts be considered in addition to the primary, secondary, university, and general reading books then being sent. Parliament member Kojo Yankah concurred, and Judge Mason raised that suggestion later in other BFA meetings.
Judge Mason died unexpectedly on June 8, 2002, of an apparent heart attack, while bicycling with a group of friends along the Mississippi River. It is fitting that this program of Books For Africa, publicly launched at BFA's 20th Anniversary Gala on September 12, 2008, be named "The Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative of Books For Africa." Please enjoy these photos of Jack, along with several of the tributes made to him, reprinted with permission.
Tributes to Jack Mason
Remarks of John Bessler at the Federal Bar Association’s Mason Memorial Luncheon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 24, 2009.
Nobel Peace Prize Forum Gala, Minneapolis, Feb 13, 2003, reprinted by Concordia College.
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Holiday 2002.
Macalester College, Macalester Today, Fall 2002.
The Federal Lawyer , October 2000, Vol. 47, No. 9.