Higgenbotham, A. Leon, Jr.

Higgenbotham, A. Leon, Jr.

(1928–  ) judge; born in Trenton, N.J. He graduated from Antioch College (1949) and Yale Law School (1952) and served as assistant district attorney for Philadelphia County. In 1954 he entered private practice. He returned to public service as a member of the Federal Trade Commission (1962–64). From 1964–77 he was a federal judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He was then promoted to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Philadelphia (1977). As one of the most prominent African-American jurists, he gained attention when in 1992 he publicly rebuked newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his perceived failure to speak more forcefully for the interests of their fellow African-Americans.