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Hugo L. Black, II

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Hugo L. Black, II

Hugo Black, Jr.
Born Hugo Lafayette Black II
(1922-04-29)April 29, 1922
Birmingham, Alabama
Died July 22, 2013 (aged 91)[1][2]
Pinecrest, Florida
Alma mater University of Alabama
Yale Law School
Spouse(s) Bessie Graham Hobson
Children Margaret Hartley Black
Elizabeth Graham Black
Hugo Black III

Hugo Lafayette Black II (April 29, 1922 – July 22, 2013) was an American prominent attorney and legal author.

Black was born in 1922 in Birmingham, Alabama to future U.S. Senator from Alabama and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Hugo Lafayette Black and Josephine Foster. He was married to Bessie Graham Hobson (1923–2000) and they had three children, Elizabeth, Margaret and Hugo Black III.

After the younger Black graduated from high school, he went to the University of Alabama until he was drafted into the Army and stayed stateside during World War II. He then went back to the University of Alabama and in 1946 graduated with an A.B. in English. Then in 1949, he received an LL.B. from Yale University, where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Yale Law Journal and president of Yale Law School Student Association and graduated second in his class. He was admitted to practice law in the states of Alabama and Florida, as well as several Federal District Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.[3]

After graduating from Yale Law, he returned to Birmingham where he began a labor law practice. In 1952, Black considered following in his father’s footsteps by entering politics. “I definitely had politics in mind,” he wrote in his book about his father. But that same year his father told him to come to Washington, D.C. and warned him that if he was elected to Congress he would be under constant political attack at home because the high court would soon have some important decisions dealing with school segregation, according to Justice Black biographer Roger Newman. So the younger Black decided not to run. He stayed in Alabama, but after the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education decision that desegregated public schools; being the as the son of the Supreme Court Justice Black, who was part of the unanimous decision, the younger Black began receiving threats from people who said they would burn crosses in his yard, and his young son being taunted at school, by the early 1960s — saying he had had enough — the younger Black moved his young family to what is now Pinecrest.[4]

Black was a founding member of Kelly, Black, Black & Kenny, in Miami, which later became Kelly, Black, Black, Byrne & Beasley. He practiced there for over 30 years, and then continued to practice law at the firm Hugo L. Black, Jr., P.A., until his passing. Hugo was an acclaimed trial attorney who was listed in the Best Lawyers in America for 20 years. He was also a life member of the American Law Institute.[5] He was a Trustee of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society (1988–2003), and the Eleventh Circuit Court Historical Society (1987–1992).

Books written

  • My Father: A Remembrance (New York, Random House: 1975)
  • The Opening Statement (Practising Law Institute, 1984)
  • Florida Evidentiary Foundations (The Michie Company, 1991)


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