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John Joseph Kirby

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John Joseph Kirby was born in Falls Church, Virginia back in 1939 to John and Rose.  He graduated from Fordham University in 1961, he was a Rhodes scholar, earning a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Merton Collee at Oxford University.  He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1956.

After graduation, he worked at the United States Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division in the 1960’s.  due to his research on widespread discrimination against African-Americans formed the basis of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  He personally escorted African-American children into segregated schools, surrounded by federal marshals.  He left the Justice Department working with the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP retiring in 2007.  Some of his most notable clients were PepsiCo, General Foods and Warner-Lambert.

However, what he is most noted for is his successful defense for Nintendo against Universal Studios over the copyrightability of the character Donkey Kong in 1984.  After the win Nintendo named the character Kirby to honor him.

Your day is worthwhile when you make someone smile, so give the free gift of a smile today   

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Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I remember that I really liked playing Donkey Kong when I was a kid, that game was fun!

Feb 17, 2021 03:46 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi James Dray - when I start teaching my class at Fordham next month I will look for him on the hall of fame.

Feb 17, 2021 04:16 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi James.... an interesting background, for sure. My MBA is from Fordham... it's a great school with great Jesuit values.

Feb 17, 2021 04:22 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

Good morning James,

I remember going through the arcades and seeing all the games and thankfully it was not something that interested me.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Feb 17, 2021 04:35 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Feb 17, 2021 04:36 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

This is a fun read James Dray and I'm always amazed at the amount of prejudice that existed when I was a kid. I never knew about it back then because my parents were not that way.

Feb 17, 2021 05:09 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello James - I don't know why but video games have never been attractive to me but the background presented in your post is rather intriguing.  Thanks for today's history lesson.  

Feb 17, 2021 05:42 AM
faye schubert

Same here Michael, video games never held any attention as a kid. But chemistry, geology kits did!

Feb 17, 2021 07:10 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good mornign James. Must say was never a video game guy, but this fellow's career was something special. Enjoy your day!

Feb 17, 2021 06:07 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Good morning James,

Video games never appealed to me nor to Ron.  I really enjoyed the story and the outcome of having a character named for him.  A

Feb 17, 2021 07:27 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James Dray and here I thought this was going to be a story about a guy that made vacuums. LOL

Feb 17, 2021 07:36 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That was certainly a positive outcome for him, and Nintendo!

Feb 17, 2021 08:26 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

My kids loved Donkey Kong but I could never get the hang of it when they let me play. Those barrels seemed to drop like rain.

Feb 17, 2021 03:05 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for sharing John J. Kirby's successful career with us. I did not know the detail about Nintendo's naming a character after him James Dray 

Feb 17, 2021 04:27 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

James- very interesting and I hadn't heard or read "Donkey Kong" in ages. 

Feb 17, 2021 05:25 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

As soon as I read the Mr. Kirby had graduated from Fordham University and was a Rhodes, I knew that he would have had a very interesting career.

Sep 05, 2021 03:55 PM