[In Memoriam] TSU Alum and Civil Rights Attorney Leo Branton Jr.

Defense attorney Leo Branton Jr. listens to radical Angela Davis as the two leave a courtroom in San Jose in 1972. Branton, whose defense of Davis brought him his most celebrated victory in a six-decade career often spent championing unpopular causes, has died at the age of 91. (Associated Press / April 25, 2013)

Born in Pine Bluff, Ark., on Feb. 17, 1922, Branton was the oldest of five children of taxi company owner Leo Sr. and his schoolteacher wife, Pauline. All five children went to college, including Wiley, who followed his brother into law and represented the nine black students who integrated Little Rock’s Central High School.

Branton earned a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University in 1942 and spent three years in the Army during World War II, where he saw combat in Italy. After the war, he earned a law degree at Northwestern in suburban Chicago and in 1949 moved to California.

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Checkout the Video of Leo Branton Jr. Speaking on the Importance of the Angela Davis

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