African American civil rights activist who offered legal representation to communists, trade unionists, and African-Americans.
In 1911 he became the first African-American to graduate from Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley, California.
In 1951 he presented the document, We Charge Genocide, to the United Nations, which charged the U.S. federal government with complicity in genocide for failing to pass legislation or take action against the lynching of thousands of innocent African Americans in the United States.
He was married to Louise Thompson Patterson from the 1930's until his death fifty years later.
He was heavily inspired by the work of Booker T. Washington.