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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among its acclaimed locals are poet Nikki Giovanni and William Henry Hastie, the first African American federal magistrate judge and governor of the U.S.
WHEN, in 1943, in the midst of the second war to make the world safe for democracy," William Henry Hastie took the unprecedented step of resigning as civilian aide to the secretary of war to protest racism, he created consternation in official Washington and set a new standard, the Spingarn Committee said, of character, conduct and courage.
William Henry Hastie III, an appointee of President Harry Truman, was the first Black judge to serve on the U.S.