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Higginbotham, A. Leon, Jr.locked

(25 February 1928–14 December 1998)
  • Edward L. Lach, Jr.

Extract

Higginbotham, A. Leon, Jr. (25 February 1928–14 December 1998), jurist and civil rights leader, was born Aloysius Leon Higginbotham in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Aloysius Leon Higginbotham, Sr., a laborer, and Emma Lee Douglass Higginbotham, a domestic worker. While he was attending a racially segregated elementary school, his mother insisted that he receive tutoring in Latin, a required subject denied to black students; he then became the first African American to enroll at Trenton's Central High School. Initially interested in engineering, he enrolled at Purdue University only to leave in disgust after the school's president denied his request to move on-campus with his fellow African-American students. He completed his undergraduate education at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he received a B.A. in sociology in 1949. In August 1948 he married Jeanne L. Foster; the couple had three children. Angered by his experiences at Purdue and inspired by the example of Supreme Court Justice ...

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