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Thu, 10.13.1898

Raymond P. Alexander, Lawyer, Politician, and Judge


This date marks the birth of Raymond Pace Alexander in 1898. He was a lawyer, politician, and judge and the first Black to hold a position on the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia.

Born in Philadelphia, Alexander graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1920 and Harvard Law School in 1923.  Alexander enjoyed a successful career in private practice, directly challenging racism and discrimination and helping to end segregation in a number of Philadelphia institutions, before becoming counsel for NAACP.

Between 1933 and 1935, Alexander served as president of the National Bar Association and sought a federal appointment. Though the prevailing racial climate made it difficult for him to break into national politics, Alexander was appointed honorary consul to the Republic of Haiti in 1938.

He was considered for an ambassadorship to Ethiopia in 1951, but though he had President Truman's support, he was not confirmed.  From 1951 to 1958, Alexander committed himself to city politics, serving on the Philadelphia city council. He died in 1974.

Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History Volume 1,
ISBN #0-02-897345-3, Pg 175 Jack Salzman, David Lionel Smith, Cornel West

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