2015 Hall of Fame Inductee
Judge Paul L. Brady was born in Flint, Michigan and is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law. He was the first African-American ever appointed a Federal Administrative Law Judge. His 31 years of service to the Federal government included 25 years as an Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Judge. He also served as the First Judge of the agency's Atlanta Regional Office. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Judge Brady developed an early interest in the law by his personal involvement in the landmark desegregation case Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka. His aunt, Mrs. Lucinda Todd, initiated the case when she was unable to get music education for her daughter in the city's black schools. Judge Brady said he abandoned a career in psychology after "being inspired by a small group of dedicated people" who met and developed his aunt's case in their home.
Judge Brady, now retired, went on to pursue an illustrious career as a lawyer and judge. He spent 11 years in private practice in Chicago, Illinois, and in1968 became the first African-American attorney employed by the Federal Power Commission. As a supervising trial attorney, he received the Commission's highest award for outstanding performance. Later, he received nationwide recognition for his efforts in organizing government lawyers to assist in the Washington, D.C. Volunteer Neighborhood Legal Services Program. Among other honors, he was an initial inductee in 1991 in the Alumni Hall of Fame of Flint Central High School, his alma mater. In 2004, Washburn Law School also honored Judge Brady by inviting him to be its Commencement Day speaker.
Judge Brady is a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He is the author of A Certain Blindness, a book chronicling his family's history as typical of the efforts of other African-American families to participate in the pursuit of America's democratic vision. Included in the book is the story of his uncle Bass Reeves, a former slave, appointed as a U.S. Deputy Marshall in 1875. Bass Reeves was the first Africa-American Federal Officer to serve on the Western Frontier. Judge Brady accepted Bass Reeves' posthumous induction as the first African-American in the Great Westerners Hall of the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. He also accepted Bass Reeves' posthumous induction into the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas in 2006. Judge Brady is the author of The Black Badge: Deputy United States Marshal Bass Reeves from Slave to Heroic Lawman, a book about his great-uncle, Bass Reeves, a former slave, who, in 1875, was appointed U.S. Deputy Marshal and became the first African-American to serve as a federal enforcement officer on the western frontier.
Judge Brady is the father of two children Paul L. Brady, Jr., and Dr. Kathleen Brady. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Xernona Clayton, a television executive, civil rights activist and founder and creator of the Trumpet Awards.
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