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Alexander, Raymond Pace (13 October 1898–24 November 1974), lawyer, judge, and civil rights leader, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the third son of Hillard Boone and Virginia Pace Alexander, both slaves in Virginia who were freed in 1865 and migrated to Philadelphia in 1880. His background was working-class poor and he grew up in Philadelphia's seventh ward, an all-black community made famous by W. E. B. Du Bois's seminal study ...

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Chew, Benjamin (29 November 1722–20 January 1810), lawyer and judge, was born at West River, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the son of Samuel Chew, a physician who became chief justice of the lower counties of Pennsylvania (present-day Delaware), and Mary Galloway. In 1732 increasing pressure for religious conformity in once-tolerant Maryland led Chew’s father, a Quaker, to seek the more congenial atmosphere of Philadelphia. There Chew received a classical education and from 1736 or 1737 to 1741 studied law under ...

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Crater, Joseph Force (05 January 1889–1930), jurist, was one of four children born in Easton, Pennsylvania, to Frank E. Crater, orchard owner and the operator of a produce market, and his wife (whose name cannot be ascertained). The family was comfortable financially, but Joseph learned the value of hard work from an early age by working long hours for his father. He also loved music, and encouraged by his mother he became a skillful pianist. After attending local public schools, he enrolled at Lafayette College, also in Easton, graduating with honors in 1911. He went on to law school at Columbia University and received his degree in 1916....

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Garrity, W. Arthur, Jr. (20 June 1920–16 September 1999), lawyer and federal judge, was born Wendell Arthur Garrity, Jr., in Worcester, Massachusetts, the first of four children of Wendell Arthur Garrity, a lawyer, and Mary B. Kennedy, a former schoolteacher. Garrity's father, a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Harvard Law School, served as a member of the Worcester School Committee, president of the Worcester County Bar Association, and United States Commissioner for his native city. Garrity, Jr. grew up in a devout, middle-class Irish Catholic family in the Green Hill section of Worcester. Both athletic (before serious injuries limited his sports participation) and studious, he attended public schools. At North High School (also known as Worcester North), Garrity was student council president, star of the debating team, and correspondent for a local newspaper, the ...

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Hastie, William Henry (17 November 1904–14 April 1976), civil rights attorney, law school professor, and federal judge, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Roberta Childs, a teacher, and William Henry Hastie, a clerk in the U.S. Pension Office (now the Veterans Administration). He was a superb student and athlete. His father’s transfer to Washington, D.C., in 1916 permitted Hastie to attend the nation’s best black secondary school, the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, from which he graduated as valedictorian in 1921. He attended Amherst College, where he majored in mathematics and graduated in 1925, valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, and magna cum laude. After teaching for two years in Bordentown, New Jersey, he studied law at Harvard University, where one instructor adopted the custom of saying after asking a question of the class, “Mr. Hastie, give them the answer” (Ware, p. 30). He worked on the ...

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Mack, Julian William (19 July 1866–05 September 1943), lawyer, judge, and Zionist leader, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of William Jacob Mack, an immigrant from Bavaria who prospered as a dry goods merchant, and Rebecca Tandler. Julian was the second of thirteen children born to the couple. Because of health reasons, William Mack resettled the family in Cincinnati in 1870, and there young Julian came under the influence of Rabbi ...

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Sampson, Edith Spurlock (13 October 1901–08 October 1979), lawyer and judge, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Louis Spurlock, the manager of a cleaning and dyeing business, and Elizabeth A. McGruder. She came from a poor black family. Her resourceful mother had managed, by weaving and selling hat frames and switches, to earn enough money to buy a home. Financial necessity forced her to interrupt her grade school education to go to work, but eventually she was able to return and to graduate from Peabody High School in Pittsburgh. After high school she was employed by Associated Charities, a group that made it possible for her to attend the New York School of Social Work. While there she received the highest grade in a criminology course, which prompted Professor ...