Saving the Dream for All: A Tribute to A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

2 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2012

Date Written: 1999


What a Name. What a Laugh. What a Voice. What a Life. His name was so long it would not fit on any standardized form. His laugh could upset hyenas. His voice made James Earl Jones jealous, His life - what a life he led.

He was a brilliant lawyer, a dynamic speaker, a dedicated teacher, a prolific scholar, and a wise and fair jurist. But what made A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., so special was that he stood against injustice whenever and wherever it existed. Whether the problem was racial discrimination, gender exclusion, religious persecution, child abuse, or poverty, Leon unselfishly advocated for change. From his days as a freshman at Purdue University, where he took his demands that the university provide heat for the racially segregated black swdents housed in an attic of one of the school buildings all the way up to the college president, to his testimony last December in the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton before the U.S. House of Representatives - Leon spoke forcefully for a vision of America that included male and female, white and black, rich and poor, and truth and compassion.

Keywords: judges, biography, Yale Law School, Federal bench, National Bar Association, NAACP, civil rights, equal protection, racial equality, gender equality, Federal Trade Commission, religious toleration, protection of children, eradication of poverty

JEL Classification: K19, K39, K49, J71, J78

Suggested Citation

Higginbotham, F. Michael, Saving the Dream for All: A Tribute to A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. (1999). Human Rights, Spring 1999, p. 23-24, University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN:

F. Michael Higginbotham (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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