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Sun, 06.12.1887

H. Claude Hudson, A Los Angeles Icon

H. Claude Hudson

The birth of Dr. H. Claude Hudson in 1887 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American dentist, lawyer, and businessman.

The son of a Louisiana slave,. Hudson dedicated 60 years of his life to civil rights. A pioneer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, he was president of the first branch of the NAACP in Shreveport, LA .(1921-23). He then moved his family to Los Angeles and within a year he was elected president of the L.A. branch, a term which lasted 10 years. Hudson earned the title "Mr. NAACP" from Los Angeles locals who recognized him as the city's most respected Black leader.

Hudson enrolled in Loyola Law School in 1927, in the four-year evening program, at the age of 41, and actively practiced dentistry throughout his law school career. Hudson was Loyola's first African-American graduate in 1931. He never practiced law in the traditional sense, but rather, studied the law to provide services to the NAACP in bringing about justice and fighting for inequality. He was instrumental in desegregating Los Angeles beaches and establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital.

Hudson founded Broadway Federal Savings and Loan, the nation's second largest Black savings and loan association. His son, Elbert T. Hudson, a graduate of Loyola Law School, in 1953, became president of Broadway. In 1976, Hudson won Los Angeles County's highest honor, the "Distinguished Service Medal." Dr. H. Claude Hudson died in 1989, at age 102.

The African American Desk Reference
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Copyright 1999 The Stonesong Press Inc. and
The New York Public Library, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pub.
ISBN 0-471-23924-0

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