Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Clarence Mitchell, Jr. (1911-1984)
MSA SC 3520-13479


Clarence Maurice Mitchell, Jr. was born in Baltimore on March 8, 1911 to Clarence Maurice Mitchell, Sr. and Elsie Davis Ruff Mitchell. Attended Baltimore City public schools; Lincoln University in Pennsylvania with Thurgood Marshall, graduated 1932; University of Maryland School of Law. Admitted to the bar June 1965, Mitchell spent most of his career practicing in Baltimore. He married Juanita Jackson Mitchell, the first African-American woman to practice law in Maryland, on September 7, 1938 at Sharp Street Memorial Methodist Church by W. A. C. Hughes. Four sons: Clarence Mitchell III; Michael Bowen Mitchell; Keiffer Jackson Mitchell; George Davis Mitchell. Died March 18, 1984. Donated body to science.

Mitchell served as the Director of the St. Paul Urban League of Minnesota.  Most notably, he served as the director of the NAACP Washington Bureau from 1950 to 1978, presiding over the passage of the 1957 and 1964 Civil Rights Laws, the 1968 Voting Rights Laws, and the 1968 Fair Housing Law.  During that period, he was also legislative director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of civil rights, labor, religious, fraternal, and civic organizations devoted to working with the NAACP to win passage of civil rights laws.  He achieved a legendary reputation in Washington, D.C. that earned him popular recognition as the "101st senator."  After retiring from office, Mitchell served as a US delegate to the United Nations.  In 1980, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the NAACP Spingarn Medal.  Mitchell died in 1984.  Posthumously, the Baltimore City Courthouse was renamed in his memory.

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