Log In

Charles Hamilton Houston Edit Profile

lawyer

Charles Hamilton Houston, American lawyer. member of the board education District of Columbia, 1933-1935.; Served with United States Army, 1917-1919, with Advertising Educational Foundation as Second lieutenant 351st Field Artillery; Member National Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild, American Law Institute, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Phi Alpha.

Background

Houston, Charles Hamilton was born on September 3, 1895 in Washington, District of Columbia, United States. Son of William LePre and Mary Ethel (Hamilton) Houston.

Education

Houston graduated first in his class.

Houston taught English for two years at the historically black Howard University. Houston became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. Houston led the effort to gain Howard Law School's accreditation by the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association.

Career

In 1917, Houston enlisted in a segregated officers training program and served in World War I as a second lieutenant in a segregated U.S. Army field artillery unit. Under his leadership, Howard Law School trained nearly a quarter of the nation's black law students. Many of influential civil rights lawyers in the nation studied at Howard during Houston’s tenure (James Nabrit, William Hastie, Spottswood Robinson, A. Leon Higginbotham, Robert Carter). Houston’s contributions to ending segregation were recognized after his death.

Charles Houston dedicated his life to freeing his people from the bonds of racism. He successfully challenged racial segregation in public schools in areas where no separate but equal facilities existed. He played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws and helped train future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall. Known as "The Man Who Killed Jim Crow", he played a role in nearly every civil rights case before the Supreme Court between 1930 and Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

Achievements

  • The main building of the Howard University School of Law was dedicated as Charles Hamilton Houston Hall. Houston is the person for whom the Charles Houston Bar Association and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School—which opened in the fall of 2005—are named. In addition, there is a professorship at Harvard Law named after him. In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Charles Hamilton Houston on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.

Membership

Member of the board education District of Columbia, 1933-1935. Served with United States Army, 1917-1919, with Advertising Educational Foundation as Second lieutenant 351st Field Artillery. Member National Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild, American Law Institute, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Phi Alpha.

  • Board of Education , Washington D.C.

    1933 - 1935

  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People National Legal Committee

    1940 - 1948

  • American Council on Race Relations

    1944 - 1950

  • Fair Employment Practices Committee

    1944 - 1945

Connections

Married Margaret Gladys Moran, August 23, 1924. Married second, Henrietta Williams, September 14, 1937.

father:
William Hamilton - lawyer

father:
William LePre Houston

mother:
Mary Hamilton - seamstress , teacher , hairdresser

wife:
Margaret Gladys Moran

wife:
Henrietta Williams

son:
Charles Hamilton