Services Set for Former Judge McClain
Legal trailblazer William McClain died on February 4, just a few weeks after he turned 101.
McClain had many firsts in his legal career: First black in the United States to hold the post of city solicitor; first black Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge in 1975; first black member of any major Cincinnati law firm; and the first black member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, years after it initially rejected his membership.
McClain graduated from Wittenberg University in 1934 and earned his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1937. In 1934, while unable to stay in the same hotel as the white participants, McClain won a national collegiate oratory competition. The lone black participant, McClain’s speech espoused racial harmony and social justice.
There will be visitations Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning at Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Cincinnati. A funeral service is at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, followed by burial at Spring Grove Cemetery.
Sources: Cincinnati.com and Cincinnati Museum Center