Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

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A. Leon Higginbotham "was born on February 25, 1928, in Trenton, N.J. Higginbotham attended Purdue University from 1944-46 and then transferred to Antioch College where he earned a B.A. 1949. Three years later in 1952 he graduated with high honors from Yale University Law School. After an active legal career including many years as a federal judge, he died on December 14, 1998. He was married twice and had four children.

"He held a variety of positions early in his career including stints as: a Philadelphia County assistant district attorney (1953-54); a partner in the law firm of Norris, Green, Harris & Higginbotham, in Philadelphia (1954-62); a special hearing officer for conscientious objectors for the U.S. Justice Department (1960-62); a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (1962-64); and a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (1961-62). Then, from 1964 until his retirement in 1993, he was a federal judge serving first a federal district court judge for the U.S. District Court for the East District (1964-77) then on the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit (1977-93). He then he was counsel to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton (1993-98) and a professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (1993-98) and he served as an international mediator of first South African election in which blacks were allowed to vote in 1994.

"Among his many awards are the nation's highest civilian award -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995), the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award (1994), the Spingarn Medal (1996) and numerous honorary degrees.

"Judge Higginbotham was a life-long champion of individual rights liberties as an advocate, judge, and author." [1]

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  1. A. Leon Higginbotham(1928-1998), Brown AT 50, accessed September 11, 2007.
  2. PRDI Advisers, Directors and Staff, Partnership for Responsible Drug Information, accessed September 11, 2007.