The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Willie Leftwich

Share on Social Media

Information about Willie Leftwich

Profile image of Willie Leftwich

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spinach
Favorite Time of Year:
March, October
Favorite Vacation Spot:
West Virginia
Favorite Quote:
I Ain't What I'm Gonna Be. I Ain't What I Wanna Be. But, I Ain't What I Was.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1937
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spinach
Favorite Time of Year:
March, October
Favorite Vacation Spot:
West Virginia
Favorite Quote:
I Ain't What I'm Gonna Be. I Ain't What I Wanna Be. But, I Ain't What I Was.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1937
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Willie Leftwich is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Former engineer and lawyer Willie L. Leftwich was born on June 28, 1937, in Washington, D.C., to Maude Leftwich, a government employee, and Willie L. Leftwich, a railroad worker. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Howard University and his J.D. and LL.D. from George Washington University.

Early in his career, Leftwich used his skills as an engineer in several high-profile government aerospace projects. From 1960 to 1963, Leftwich worked as a research aeronautical instrumentation engineer for NASA, helping to design a gantry-timing device for the Blue Scout Rocket and helping develop missile trajectory systems. He worked from 1963 to 1968 with the Naval Air Systems Command as a research electro-optical engineer, developing air-to-surface sensors for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

After 1968, Leftwich began his legal career. He started as a patent attorney for the Federal Aviation Administration before spending a year as vice president and general counsel for Technical Media Systems. While working as a professor at both the University of the District of Columbia and George Washington University School of Law, Leftwich became a founding partner in Hudson Leftwich & Davenport, a commercial law firm that represented corporations in litigation for construction, real estate, employment discrimination and public utility cases. In 1985, Leftwich became counsel and founding partner of Leftwich & Douglas, where he engaged in general commercial practice. Following his retirement from practice law in December 1996, Leftwich became a private investor.

Leftwich is a life member of the NAACP and the American Bar Association. He has served as director of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, the D.C. Redevelopment Land Agency and the Neighborhood Legal Services Program. He and his wife, Norma, have been married since 1978 and have an adult son, Curtis.

See how Willie Leftwich is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Leftwich's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Leftwich describes his father and paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Leftwich describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Leftwich describes his earliest memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Leftwich describes the sights, sounds, and smells of West Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Leftwich remembers moving to Washington, D.C. as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Leftwich describes his role models in elementary school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Leftwich describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Willie Leftwich shares his childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Willie Leftwich remembers attending Benjamin Banneker Junior High School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Willie Leftwich recalls when his father lost his job in 1949
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Leftwich describes his father's personality and how he handled his job loss
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich describes how his personality resembles his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Leftwich describes racial segregation in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Leftwich talks about present-day racism in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Leftwich recalls skin color discrimination within the black community in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Leftwich talks about his interest in sports
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Leftwich describes attending Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Leftwich describes Howard University professors E. Franklin Frazier and Emmett Dorsey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Leftwich remembers the notable people he met at Howard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Willie Leftwich talks about being hired at NASA
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Leftwich talks about serving in Korea in 1961
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich talks about working on the Blue Scout missile for NASA
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Leftwich describes working for the Naval Air Systems Command
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Leftwich talks about being promoted in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Leftwich talks about how race impacted his career in the 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Leftwich talks about attending George Washington University Law School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Leftwich talks about his courses at George Washington University Law School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Leftwich describes becoming a Republican
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willie Leftwich talks about President Richard Nixon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Willie Leftwich describes his jobs after law school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Leftwich talks about the lack of black legacy law firms
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich describes working at Technical Media Systems
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Leftwich describes starting his law practice
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Leftwich talks about Washington D.C. black law firms and associations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Leftwich talks about the clients of his law firm
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Leftwich talks about the business side of running a law firm
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Leftwich talks about being a black Republican
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Leftwich talks about facing discrimination as a lawyer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Leftwich talks about his firm's success in the mid-1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Leftwich talks about HistoryMaker William Thaddeus Coleman
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Willie Leftwich describes Kinsey v. Legg, Mason & Co.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Leftwich talks about learning about the stock exchange during his case Kinsey v. Legg, Mason & Co.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich talks about the federal court system
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Leftwich describes the Love v. Pullman Company case
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Leftwich talks about winning the Love v. Pullman Company case
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Leftwich talks about A. Philip Randolph
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Leftwich describes working for Mayor Ernest "Dutch" Morial
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Leftwich talks about leaving the legal profession from 1983 to 1985
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Leftwich describes starting a law firm, Leftwich and Douglas in 1985
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Willie Leftwich talks about his political involvement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Willie Leftwich talks about the success of his law firm, Leftwich and Douglas, during the 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich describes the type of cases his firm, Leftwich & Douglas, handled
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willie Leftwich talks about his colon cancer
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willie Leftwich talks about his lung cancer
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willie Leftwich describes his love of pottery
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willie Leftwich reflects upon his careers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willie Leftwich reflects upon what he has learned since battling cancer
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Willie Leftwich talks about his support and disappointment in U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Willie Leftwich talks about the political affiliations of black people
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Willie Leftwich describes his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Willie Leftwich talks about social problems facing the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich describes the importance of education for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Willie Leftwich talks about the legacy of black mayors
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Willie Leftwich talks about race relations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Willie Leftwich reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Willie Leftwich narrates his photographs
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Willie Leftwich shares his thoughts on the importance of The HistoryMakers