Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Higginbotham, A. Leon, Jr. (1928–1998)
A. (Aloysius) Leon Higginbotham, Jr., was a lawyer, legal scholar, teacher, author, and federal judge for 29 years. When he retired in 1993 he had served on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia for 13 years and had been named Chief Judge in 1992, only one of a handful of African Americans to achieve such a position at that time. A key figure in the civil rights movement and a supporter of affirmative action, Higginbotham was a continual force for equality and individual rights, using the law as his tool for attacking racism in the United States in the 20th century. In the legal process Higginbotham saw both the problem and the solution: the roots of much of the racial tension of the times and the hope for change. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. As an undergraduate at Purdue University, Higginbotham, because of ...