Attorney Leon Ransom

The Thirteenth Laurel Wreath Wearer [1947]

Leon Andrew Ransom [Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter] was born in Zanesville [OH] ·· in 1898. He matriculated at Wilberforce University earning a BS degree [1920]. He enrolled at Ohio State University and earned a JD degree [1927]. Ransom was the first Negro graduate of the Ohio State University Law School and the first Negro inducted into the Order of Coif, an l10nor society whose purpose is to encourage excellence in legal education by fostering a spirit of study and to recognize law students who have attained a high grade of scholarship. In 1935, he received a .fellowship to study at the Harvard University Law School.

Ransom was a key lieutenant of Charles Hamilton Houston. A native Washingtonian, Houston was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College (1915] and earned the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Harvard University (1923]. Houston came to Howard University in 1929 to become Vice Dean of the Howard University School of Law. He led the American effort to Law gain Schthe ools and accreditation the of Americthe an Law Bar School Associby athe tion. AssociaUnder tion his of leadership, the Howard Law School trained almost a quarter of the black law students in the nation.

When Houston became NAACP Special Counsel [1933], he recruited a team of lawyers to assist him that included Ransom. The team was the attorney of record in hundreds of cases across the nation, including 11 that came before the Supreme Court of the United States. Ransom was also a Professor of Law at Howard University for much of his tenure with the NAACP legal team.

Ransom, a 1918 Delta initiate, was Polemarch at the Zeta [1925-28], and the first Senior Grand Vice Polemarch [1926]. He was affiliated with the Chicago (IL) Alumni Chapter, and the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter, serving as its ninth Polemarch [1939-1941].

His exemplary and outstanding contributions to civil rights, as an attorney, earned him the 13th Laurel Wreath.

Laurel Wreath Wearer Ransom died in 1958.