Retired Appellate Court Judge, Olly Neal was featured in New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Nicholas Kristof’s column last week (January 21, 2012). Judge Olly Neal and his wife, Karen Buchanan, are long time downtown Little Rock residents. Ms. Buchanan is a former Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation (DLRCDC) Board member.
In the late 1950s, Olly Neal was a poor black kid with an attitude. He was one of 13 brothers and sisters in a house with no electricity, and his father was a farmer with a second-grade education. Neal attended a small school for black children — this was in the segregated South — and was always mouthing off. He remembers reducing his English teacher, Mildred Grady, to tears.