Law Professors

Harvard law prof credits his faith for helping him cope with Alzheimer's diagnosis

  • Print.

Charles Ogletree

Charles Ogletree speaking at the Lincoln Memorial in 2013. Joseph Sohm /

Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree revealed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis during a speech last week to members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Ogletree, 63, credited his faith for helping him cope with the diagnosis, the Religion News Service reports.

“I’ve made up my mind to be thankful for what I have rather than focus on what I may lose,” Ogletree said. “Nothing but the grace of God and faith enables me to respond this way.”

Ogletree is on sabbatical until 2018, an assistant in his Harvard office tells the ABA Journal. But he tells the Boston Globe he hopes to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s and he has no plans to retire.

“I want to be a spokesperson,” Ogletree told the Globe. “I want to tell people don’t be afraid of it.”

Ogletree founded the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, and his clients have included Anita Hill and rapper Tupac Shakur. He has written several books on race and justice, according to his Harvard profile.

He says he wasn’t aware of any Alzheimer’s symptoms until his doctor raised the issue during a checkup.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.