Sunday, January 30, 2005

First black judge in Arlington County, Howard law graduate, dies at 80

The Washington Post has this interesting story on the life and times of Judge Thomas Randolph Monroe, who served Arlington County as a judge from 1972 to 1993.

The obituary says in part:

"Born in the Eastern Shore's Northampton County, near Cape Charles, Va., Judge Monroe worked as a caddy at a whites-only golf course and was a star center fielder for the town's baseball team. He graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte and served as a sergeant in the Army in the Pacific and European theaters during World War II. He received his law degree from Howard University in 1951 and set up a private law practice in Arlington the next year.

He practiced law for 20 years and quickly established himself as a civic leader, serving as president of the Arlington chapter of the NAACP in 1955 and circulating a petition to desegregate Arlington's schools. Into the early 1970s, he stayed in the struggle, joining a group of parents whose children attended the all-black Drew Elementary School in a desegregation suit against the county."

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