Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Lopez Watson
Judge Watson was born in Harlem, New York to parents who had immigrated from Jamaica. During World War II he fought in Italy with the U. S. Army, and was awarded the Purple Heart. He received a B.A. from New York University in 1947 and an LL.B. from Brooklyn Law School in 1951.
On March 7, 1966, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him to the United States Customs Court, now known as the United States Court of International Trade. Because judges of that court are periodically assigned to federal courts around the country, Judge Watson became the first African-American judge to head a federal court in the South since Reconstruction. He took senior status in 1991, but continued to serve on the court until his death from cancer in 2001.
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