Higginbotham, A. Leon (1928–1998)
Educated at Purdue, Antioch, and Yale University Law School, Higginbotham held legal positions in public and private practice in Philadelphia. Between 1964 and 1993, he was a federal judge. In 1990, he became Chief Judge of the Federal appeals court in Philadelphia. Subsequently, he became a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. A Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient in 1995, Higginbotham was committed to social justice and is said to have been one of a handful of black jurists considered by President Lyndon Johnson for a Supreme Court appointment. He authored several books, and was a strong and outspoken advocate for racial justice.