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On this date in 1904, William H. Hastie was born. He was an African American attorney, judge and magistrate, and state government executive.
He was born in Knoxville, TN. he received his A. B. from Amherst College In 1925, an LL. B from Harvard University in 1930, and a S.J.D. from the same institution in 1933. He received honorary degrees from many other institutions over the years including Rutgers University, Howard University, and Temple University. Hastie was admitted to the bar in 1930, and was in private practice for three years. In 1933, he became assistant solicitor of the Department of the Interior until 1937.
At that time, he became a judge serving the District Court of the Virgin Islands. In 1939, he became dean of the Howard University School of Law. In 1942, he was the first civilian aide to the secretary of war. He was governor of the Virgin Islands between 1946 and 1949, before his position as U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge.
William Hastie died on April 14 1976, in Philadelphia.
Black Heroes of the Twentieth Century
Edited by Jessie Carney Smith
Copyright 1998 Visible Ink Press, Detroit, MI