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MICHAEL BERRY is the fascinating biography of the first Muslim attorney to practice law in the State of Michigan. Throughout his 50 years as an attorney in partnership with a diverse group of attorneys, who joined the firm on a handshake and stayed for many years, Michael Berry amassed many notable achievements and an equally impressive roster of awards and recognitions. A savvy politician, Michael Berry rose to chair the largest Democratic congressional district in the United States. Michael Berry eventually was appointed to the powerful Wayne County Road Commission, which oversaw the vast network of roads in Detroit's home county, known as the automobile capital of the world. Under his 16-year chairmanship, the Detroit Metropolitan Airport was greatly expanded and became one of the top 10 airports in the United States. In 1974, Detroit's international terminal was named after Michael Berry. Throughout tragedy and triumph, Michael Berry always found time to help anyone along the way to improve his or her life. His community service and humanitarian efforts span decades and great distances, including his ancestral land of Lebanon.Overriding in this remarkable journey through the octogenarian's life is the example he set in everything he undertook.
He practiced law by the book, often putting principle above payment. He ran a tight ship at the Road Commission, instituting a bidding system for all work undertaken by that influential body and clearly proving that stewardship can be, as it should be, the cornerstone of public service. Arab Americans - in fact, all Americans - everywhere should look to Michael Berry as a gentle giant who rose from childhood poverty and achieved great success without compromising the values instilled in him at a young age. His biography serves as a living legacy for those who seek to blaze similar trails.