Viewing and services for the Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., a distinguished and beloved emeritus trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, will be held Sunday and Monday, December 20 and 21, in Boston, Massachusetts (see details below).
Also to be announced are memorial services for him in New York, Philadelphia, Cambridge and Washington early in 1999 on dates to be determined.
Judge Higginbotham was 70 years old when he died of a massive stroke on Monday, December 14, at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Judge Higginbotham was of counsel at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, as well as the Public Service Professor of Jurisprudence at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
A graduate of Antioch College and Yale Law School, he also taught as an adjunct professor at Penn's Law School. He served as a judge, chief judge, and senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1977-93 and as a U.S. district judge from 1964-77.
At Penn, Judge Higginbotham served as a trustee of the University for over 30 years, from May 1968 until his death, bringing his wise counsel to the Executive Committee from 1978-80, as well as to numerous other committees, including the Academic Policy, Honorary Degrees and Awards, Student Affairs, and University Responsibility Committees.
In recognition of, and appreciation for, his "generous service to others, his judicious compassion, and his warm understanding of man's strengths and foibles," the Board of Trustees conferred upon Judge Higginbotham the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in May 1975. Over the years, Judge Higginbotham also was a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania Press and former chairman of the Boards of Overseers of the Law School and the Graduate School of Education. Most recently, Judge Higginbotham served as a member of the 1993-94 Commission on Strengthening the University Community.
A 1995 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Judge Higginbotham received national and international accolades and appointments during his stellar legal career, many of which have been recorded in obituaries published The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many other newspapers.
On this coming Sunday, Judge Higginbotham's body will lie in state from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Peoples Baptist Church at Tremont and Camden Streets (134 Camden Street, Boston MA 02118).
Funeral services will begin at noon on Monday at the Peoples Baptist Church, with burial at Oak Bluffs Cemetery on Martha's Vineyard at 1 p.m.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, 99 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013, or the Children's Defense Fund, 25 E Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001
Those planning to attend either the services or the burial on Monday are asked to RSVP to Ms. Carol Derby by telephone to (212) 373-3135, by fax to (212) 373-2315, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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