He was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before his retirement in March 2002. As general counsel of the NAACP, he gained recognition for his legal efforts to end school segregation in the northern United States.  He also served as Executive Director of the Fair Employment Practices Commission and in 1962, he became the first African American to be appointed as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland.  He was Senior Counsel in the Cincinnati office of  Blank Rome LLP before his death on January 26, 2020.

Statement from Mayor John Cranley