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date: 07 August 2020

Ransom, Leon Andrewlocked

(06 August 1899–25 August 1954)
  • Peter Wallenstein


Ransom, Leon Andrew (06 August 1899–25 August 1954), lawyer and educator, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, the son of Charles Andrew Ransom, a janitor who later ran a stable, and Nora Belle Lee. He attended Ohio State University for a year (1917–1918), joined the army during World War I (1918), and graduated from Wilberforce University (1920). After five years (1920–1925) working as a dining car waiter and in real estate in Chicago, where he served as assistant executive secretary of the Spring Street Branch of the YMCA, he decided to go to law school. His widow later recounted that he became a lawyer as “a form of protest” against the racial discrimination he saw all around him in Chicago. He earned a law degree with honors at Ohio State University (J.D., 1927). In 1924 he married Willa C. Carter; they had two children. In religion he was African Methodist Episcopalian; in politics he was an active Republican and then an Independent. “Andy” Ransom’s easygoing demeanor belied his commitment to racial progress....

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