AB magna cum laude, Lincoln University, 1937. Doctor of Civil Law, Lincoln University, 1965. Bachelor of Laws magna cum laude, Howard University, 1940.
Master of Laws, Columbia University, 1941. Doctor of Laws, Northeastern University, 1988. Doctor of Laws, College Holy Cross, 1994.
Doctor of Laws, Howard University, 1995. Doctor of Humane Letters, New School University, 1998. Doctor of Laws, Yale University, 2002.
Assistant special counsel, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, New York City, 1944-1956;
general counsel, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1956-1968;
member firm, Poletti, Freidin, Prashker, Feldman & Gartner, New York City, 1969-1972;
judge, United States District Court Southern District New York, New York City, 1972-1987;
senior judge, United States District Court Southern District New York, New York City, since 1987. Adjunct Professor Law School New York University, 1965-1970, Yale University, 1975-1977, University of Michigan, 1977. Adjunct assistant United State Attorneys Southern District New York, 1968.
Member New York City Mayor's Judicial Committee, 1968-1972.
President National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, 1966-1972. Member New York State Special Commission on Attica, New York State Temporary Commission on Court Reform, 1970-1972, American delegate United Nations Conference on Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Stockholm, 1965. Board directors Northside Center Child Development, New School for Social Research.
Chairman Public Service Awards Program, Fund for City of New York, 1982-1983. Delegate to the World Assembly on Human Rights in Montreal, 1970. Second lieutenant United States Army Air Force, 1941-1944.
Member National Conference Black Lawyers (co-chairman 1968-1982).
Married Gloria Spencer, December 4, 1946 (deceased November 1971). Children: John Walton, David Christopher.