John Hope Franklin's Moral and Intellectual Poise

In "A Life of Learning," an address to the American Council of Learned Societies 20 years ago, John Hope Franklin recalled the 100th-birthday wisdom of the ragtime composer Eubie Blake, who said that had he known he would live so long, "I'd have taken better care of myself." John Hope Franklin not only took good care of himself until his death last month at 94, but he also took great care of the memory and self-concept of the American people.

A cautionary truth about the life of John