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If you like John Sexton's story, you might also like:
Gary Becker,
David Boies,
Johnnetta Cole,
Milton Friedman,
Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
Rudolph Giuliani,
John Hennessy,
Susan Hockfield,
Anthony Kennedy,
Wendy Kopp,
Mike Krzyzewski,
Frank McCourt,
Ralph Nader,
Anthony Romero,
Oliver Sacks,
Barry Scheck
and Elie Wiesel

John Sexton can also be seen and heard in our Podcast Center

John Sexton's recommended reading: Forever

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John Sexton
John Sexton
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John Sexton Profile

Education & Law

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  John Sexton

As a college student, John Sexton barely scraped together a 2.1 GPA. Today, he is the pioneering president of New York University, setting it on an ambitious path to become the U.S.'s leading global university.

The son of an alcoholic -- by age ten, he was searching for his lawyer-father in and around Brooklyn's gutters -- Sexton was an academic late bloomer. He spent 15 years as the volunteer coach of a high school girls' debate team, taking them to two national championships, and only then did he enter law school, graduating at age 37 from Harvard. From that moment, his rise was meteoric. He landed a coveted clerkship with the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Warren Burger, and, less than ten years out of law school, he was picked as Dean of the New York University Law School. Under Sexton's leadership, NYU became one of the nation's premier law schools and Sexton himself pioneered a new form of global law study.

In 2002, he became NYU's president, and also served on the Board of Governors for the New York Federal Reserve. At NYU, he has challenged conventional university notions of tenure to attract leading academic stars to full-time undergraduate teaching. His fascination with globalization has inspired him to create an NYU campus in Abu Dhabi, slated to open in 2010. His philosophy of education is that the academic quest must include answering the question: "Am I living a useful life?"

This page last revised on Apr 15, 2008 17:22 EDT
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