Hastie, William Henry, Jr., 1904-1976

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William Henry Hastie Jr. (November 17, 1904 – April 14, 1976) was an American lawyer, judge, educator, public official, and civil rights advocate. He was the first African American to serve as Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, as a federal judge, and as a federal appellate judge. He served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and previously served as District Judge of the District Court of the Virgin Islands.

Hastie was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, to William Henry Hastie, Sr. and Roberta Childs. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1925, and went on to Harvard Law School, receiving his LL.B. in 1930 and his S.J.D. in 1933.

Between his two law degrees, Hastie joined Charles Houston Hamilton's law firm in Washington, D.C., 1931-1933, after being admitted to the District of Columbia Bar. He worked with Houston, Thurgood Marshall and others on strategy and cases leading to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Hastie was Assistant Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior, 1933-1937. From 1937 to 1939, he was a Federal District Judge in the Virgin Islands. He was later elected Governor of the Virgin Islands in 1946, and served until 1949.

Hastie became the Dean of the Howard University School of Law, 1939-1946, after having taught there as a professor of law, 1930-1937.

In 1940, Hastie was appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War to investigate discriminatory practices towards African American in the military, and resigned in protest in 1943, after his recommendations were largely ignored. That same year, Hastie was honored by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) with the prestigious Spingarn Medal. Hastie was a member of the NAACP from the 1930s until his death, and served on its Board of Directors from 1941 to 1968.

In 1949, Hastie was named to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals by President Harry S. Truman. Upon his confirmation to the court in 1950, Hastie attained the highest legal post ever held by an African American at the time. He served for 21 years on that court, the last three as Chief Judge, and retired in 1971, acquiring senior status.

Hastie married Beryl Lockhart in 1943, with whom he had two children, Karen Roberta and William H. Jr.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Roy Wilkins Papers, 1901-1980, (bulk 1932-1980) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Milgram, Morris 1916, Morris Milgram papers 1923-1994, undated Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf William Hastie photographs, 1905-1994 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Paul A. Freund papers Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf NONMUSIC RECORDING (COLLECTION) Audio materials, 1956-1977 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Audio materials, 1956-1977 [sound recording]. Library of Congress
creatorOf Wanda Gág papers University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Kluger, Richard. Brown vs. Board of Education collection, 1950-1975 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977. Papers, 1865-1998 (inclusive), 1905-1975 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Frank S. Horne papers, 1927-1974 Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
creatorOf United States. President (1933-1945 : Roosevelt). Letter from Franklin Roosevelt to William H. Hastie, 1939. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Papers of Shirley Graham Du Bois, 1865-1998 (inclusive), 1905-1975 (bulk) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Judicial Council of the National Bar Association (1970- ). Records. 1970-1977. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
creatorOf Implications of Bradford v. Clapper / 1933 Hastie, William, 1904-1976.1933 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Robert C. Weaver papers 1869-1970 [bulk 1923-1970] New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn William LePre Houston Family Papers, 1777-1936, (bulk 1890-1936) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Walter Francis White and Poppy Cannon papers Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Lawrence D. Reddick World War II project, 1943-1953 (bulk 1943-1945) New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Papers of Pauli Murray, 1827-1985 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn William J. Thompkins collection, [19--]-1943. (MS 606). Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
referencedIn Kluger, Richard. Brown vs. Board of Education collection, 1950-1975 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn 002.11 Special Groups - Negroes Jan - Mar 1942 National Archives at College Park
creatorOf William Hastie papers, 1916-1976 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Juanita Kidd Stout Papers, 1873-1998, (bulk 1948-1997) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Durham Fact-Finding Conference records, 1929-1930 and 1942-1945 North Carolina Central University, James E. Shepard Memorial Library
referencedIn Papers of Pauli Murray, 1827-1985: Series IV, 1926-1985 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Judge William H. Hastie Oral History Interview [transcript], 1972 Harry S. Truman Library
Relation Name
associatedWith A. H. Brown, Jr. person
associatedWith Amalie, Charlotte person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Amherst College. corporateBody
associatedWith Arlin M. Adams person
correspondedWith Arthur Wieland person
associatedWith Bachrach, Fabian, 1917- person
associatedWith Baugh, Albert Croll, 1891- person
associatedWith Beryl Lockhart Hastie person
associatedWith Blackstone Studios, corporateBody
associatedWith Bolin, Gaius C. person
associatedWith Boyer, Francis. person
associatedWith Brown Jr. Studio person
associatedWith Brown, Williard person
associatedWith Buffalo Urban League, Incorporated. corporateBody
associatedWith Bunche, Ralph J. (Ralph Johnson), 1904-1971. person
associatedWith Carl R. Johnson, board member and president person
associatedWith Chinton W. Dickerson person
associatedWith Christian, William person
associatedWith Cobb, W. Montague person
associatedWith Collins J. Seitz. person
associatedWith Cook, W. Mercer person
associatedWith Dilworth, Richardson. person
associatedWith Dr. Arnold J. Toynbee person
associatedWith Dr. Channing H. Tobias person
associatedWith Dr. Dennis Smith person
associatedWith Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977. person
associatedWith Durham Fact-Finding Conference. corporateBody
associatedWith E. A. Bralsen, manager. person
associatedWith Edward A. Bolling person
associatedWith Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969. person
associatedWith Francis L. Van Dusen, . person
correspondedWith F. R. Bunker, Captain U. S. Navy person
associatedWith Freedman, Abraham person
associatedWith Goldston, Newman person
associatedWith Greenewalt, Crawford H. (Crawford Hallock), 1937- person
associatedWith Hansen, A., person
associatedWith Harlem Labor Center. corporateBody
associatedWith Harnwell, G. P. (Gaylord Probasco), 1903-1982. person
associatedWith Harris, Fred, person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard Law School. corporateBody
associatedWith Herzog, Bradford F., person
associatedWith Horne, Frank Smith, 1899-1974. person
correspondedWith Houston, Charles Hamilton, 1895-1950 person
correspondedWith Houston, William LePre. person
employeeOf Howard University. School of Law. corporateBody
associatedWith International Labor Defense. corporateBody
associatedWith J. Arthur Jackson person
associatedWith John J. Gibbons person
associatedWith Joseph Alexander. person
associatedWith Judge Theodore Spaulding person
associatedWith Judicial Council of the National Bar Association (1970- ) corporateBody
associatedWith Kirk, Alan Goodrich, 1888-1963. person
associatedWith Kluger, Richard. person
associatedWith Levi, Edward Hirsch, 1911- person
associatedWith Lewis, Charles W. person
associatedWith Littleton, Hastie person
associatedWith L. L. McKenzie person
associatedWith Lonsome, William person
associatedWith Love, Julius person
associatedWith Lt. Laurence Massey. person
associatedWith Lt. Philip Atkins person
associatedWith Luis Munoz - Marin person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Maurice Thomas. person
associatedWith McCloud, Burnis, person
associatedWith Mikos, Mike person
associatedWith Milgram, Morris 1916- person
associatedWith Moorland-Spingarn Research Center Howard University. corporateBody
associatedWith Morris F. De Castro person
associatedWith Mr. C. K. Dapthary, Solicitor General of India. person
associatedWith Mr. Crawford H. Greenwalt person
associatedWith Mrs. C., J. Stern, Ladner. person
associatedWith Muñoz Marín, Luis, 1898-1980. person
associatedWith Murray, Pauli, 1910-1985. person
associatedWith Nabrit, James M. Jr. person
associatedWith National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. corporateBody
associatedWith O'Dwyer, William, 1890-1964. person
associatedWith Paul A. Freund person
associatedWith Phillips, Theodore person
associatedWith Rayford, George person
associatedWith Reddick, Lawrence Dunbar, 1910-1995. person
associatedWith Robinson, Spottswood III person
associatedWith Ruggero J Aldisert person
associatedWith Sanders, Joseph person
associatedWith Sarah Belchetz-Swenson person
associatedWith Schick, Julius, person
associatedWith Schick, Julius, photographer. person
associatedWith SHIRLEY GRAHAM DU BOIS, 1896-1977 person
associatedWith Smith, George W., person
associatedWith Spingarn, Arthur Barnett, 1878- person
associatedWith Steven R. Smith, Curatorial Associate person
correspondedWith Stout, Juanita Kidd, 1919-1998. person
associatedWith Suitt, E. Vincent person
associatedWith Third District Circuit Court of Appeals. corporateBody
associatedWith Thompkins, William J., 1884-1944. person
associatedWith Thompson, William B. D. person
associatedWith Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972. person
associatedWith Tyler, Scott W., person
associatedWith United Nations Trusteeship Division corporateBody
associatedWith United Negro College Fund, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army corporateBody
employeeOf United States. Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit) corporateBody
employeeOf United States. District Court (Virgin Islands) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. President (1933-1945 : Roosevelt). corporateBody
associatedWith U. S. Army School corporateBody
associatedWith Wachman, Marvin, 1917- person
associatedWith Washington, James person
associatedWith Weaver, Robert C. (Robert Clifton), 1907-1997. person
associatedWith White, Walter Francis, 1893-1955. person
associatedWith Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995. person
correspondedWith Wilkins, Roy, 1901-1981. person
correspondedWith Willy's - Overland Motors, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Wilson, G. Marshall, person
associatedWith Wilson, G. Marshall, photographer. person
associatedWith Wolfson, Robert, person
associatedWith Woodruff, Bertram person
associatedWith Zanders, Roosevelt S., person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Knoxville TN US
Bordentown NJ US
Virgin Islands of the United States 00 VI
Philadelphia PA US
Cambridge MA US
African American governors
African American judges
United States. Army
United States. Army
Political campaigns
Political campaigns
Civil rights movement
Discrimination against African Americans
Employers' liability
Liability (Law)
Virgin Islands of the United States
World War II, 1939-1945
Deans (Education)


Birth 1904-11-17

Death 1976-04-14





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