William Henry Hastie

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Hastie, William Henry

(1904–76) judge, public official; born in Knoxville, Tenn. A 1925 Amherst graduate, he taught for two years before going on to Harvard Law School. He taught briefly at Howard University, worked for a private firm and, from 1933–37, served as a U.S. Interior Department attorney. He returned to Howard as dean of the law school (1939–46). He was a consultant on race relations to the secretary of war but resigned in 1943 to protest continued discrimination against African-American servicemen. In 1949 he became the first Afrrican-American jurist appointed a judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He later became an appellate chief judge for the Philadelphia circuit. He retired from the bench in 1971.