Monday, May 21, 2012

Noted African-American attorney, Walter L. Gordon, Jr. dies

Walter L. Gordon Jr., a pioneering African-American attorney, was born in Santa Monica on June 22, 1908 to Walter and Vertner Gordon.  According to his Los Angeles Time obituary, he attended USC and Ohio State University, where he earned his law degree. In 1937 he established a law practice on Los Angeles’ Central Avenue. One of the few African-American lawyers in California, he represented clients ranging from railroad dining car workers to jazz legend Billie Holiday. Among Mr. Gordon’s survivors is his son Walter L. Gordon III, an attorney. According to the Santa Monica City Directory for 1907, the year prior to Gordon’s birth, a man named Walter Gordon operated a shoeshine business on Pier Avenue.