Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

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.