Submitted on Thursday, 6/23/2022, at 4:07 PM highlights the life, career and legacy of Houston, the attorney best known for crafting “the civil rights strategy that led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education, which stated that schools had to be desegregated.”

The article mentions Houston’s education at M Street High School in Washington, D.C., and Amherst College; his time in the racially segregated U.S. Army; and his subsequent decision to, in his own words, “study law and use my time fighting for men who could not strike back.” 

Houston became the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review, special counsel to the NAACP and a dean at Howard University Law School, “where he trained so many civil rights attorneys, including Oliver Hill and Thurgood Marshall. The latter successfully litigated the instrumental Brown case and became a United States Supreme Court justice.” 

“Houston died in 1950 of a heart attack and so did not live to see the [Brown] ruling,” Mildred Europa Taylor,writes. “But his determination to make a difference in a world of racial discrimination was greatly admired. Essentially, he became known as the Man who killed Jim Crow due to his fight for civil rights, being involved in nearly all the cases between 1930 and 1950.”