Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Blacks in:
 • Arlington National Cemetery
 • Arlington
 • Arlington County
 • Virginia
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Hugo Lafayette Black
Birth: Feb. 27, 1886
Clay County
Alabama, USA
Death: Sep. 25, 1971
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice, US Senator. The son of a former Confederate soldier, he was a native of Harlan, Alabama. He attended the University of Alabama, and received his law degree in 1906. He set up his practice in Birmingham but discontinued it when he was selected as a police court judge in 1910. He served as a county prosecutor until he joined the United States Army after the country entered World War I. He became a member of the 81st Field Artillery which served its entire tour of duty without leaving the country. After his discharge, he resumed his legal practice in Birmingham. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1926. He led the drive in the Senate for the Fair Labor Standards. He was one of FDR's biggest supporters in the Senate and approved of the President's idea to pack the Supreme Court. He was appointed by FDR to the court, when Justice Willis Van Devanter retired in 1937. As he was a member of the Senate, his nomination was confirmed without any problems. He came under fire however, when it was learned that he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. In a nationally broadcast radio statement, he acknowledged that he had indeed been a member of the Klan, but said that he had resigned many years earlier, before his election to the Senate. After the broadcast, he never made no further comment on the subject. The controversy faded away and his position on the Court was never challenged again. He became known as a strong advocate for the absolute authority of the Bill of Rights, especially the freedom of speech. He always carried his well-thumbed copy of the Constitution in his pocket. In 1971, his last major opinion upheld the right of The New York Times to publish the so-called "Pentagon Papers." Sadly he suffered from ill health during the later years of his life, and was forced to resign from the Court on September 17, 1971. His 34 years of service being the third longest in the nation's history. He died eight days later at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Per his wishes, he rests under a simple regulation tombstone as does his wife Josephine Foster Black, who had served in the Navy during World War I. In between the stones is a small marble bench inscribed with the simple epitaph: "Here lies a good man." (bio by: Ugaalltheway) 
Family links: 
  William LaFayette Black (1848 - 1900)
  Martha Ardella Toland Black (1848 - 1905)
  Josephine Foster Black (1896 - 1951)
  Elizabeth Seay Black (1908 - 1987)
  Hugo Lafayette Black (1922 - 2013)*
  Sterling Foster Black (1924 - 1996)*
*Calculated relationship
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 30 Lot 649-LH Grid W/X-38.5
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 97
Hugo Lafayette Black
Added by: Ron Moody
Hugo Lafayette Black
Added by: Barry Charles
Hugo Lafayette Black
Added by: Ron Williams
There are 2 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

45 years
- Nancy Forrest
 Added: Sep. 21, 2016
On your 130th birthday
- Nancy Forrest
 Added: Feb. 24, 2016

- R I P
 Added: Nov. 6, 2015
There are 107 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.9 after 82 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service