Alexander, Raymond Pace (1897-1974) | Amistad Research Center
Raymond Pace Alexander was a specialist in criminal law and a trial lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for over thirty years. He served in various positions in the Philadelphia city government before receiving a judicial appointment to the Court of Common Pleas. Alexander was active in a number of local, state, and national organizations.
Pace was born in Philadelphia in 1897 and was part of a large working class family. He graduated from Central High School in 1917 and won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors in 1920. He was recommended to study economics at Harvard University, but entered Harvard Law School instead. While attending Harvard Law he worked as an assistant to the head of the Economics Department, Professor Edmund E. Day. He graduate from Harvard in 1923, became a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and started practice that same year in the law offices of trial lawyer John R. K. Scott. He started his own practice by the late 1920s, which continued until 1950, when he pursued positions in public office.
He was elected to the Philadelphia City Council under the New Home Rule Charter in which he was an active participant from 1949-1951. He became Chairman of its Department of Recreation in 1952 to 1956, when he was re-elected. From 1956 to 1959 he was the Chairman of the Committee on Public Property and Public Works. He was appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1959 and elected for a ten year term that same year.
Dr. Alexander was extremely active in criminal defense law, which often involved discrimination and segregation. He worked as counsel to the National Medical Association, National Baptist Convention, associate counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Zion Baptist Church (1938-1950), Board Chairman of YMCA-Southwest Branch, president of the Crime Prevention Association of Philadelphia, and involved in many other organizations. Judge Alexander was also a prolific writer of manuscripts and dissertations on legal, social, political, and historical issues and traveled widely internationally as a law speaker.
Raymond Pace Alexander papers
Alexander Family papers at the University of Archives and Records Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA