Judge, U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia Nominated by Lyndon B. Johnson on July 12, 1965; Confirmed by the Senate on August 11, 1965, and received commission on August 11, 1965. Served as chief judge, 1977 – 1981. Assumed senior status on 1/31/1982. Service terminated on 11/13/2005, due to death.
Howard University, A.B., 1932
Howard University School of Law, LL.B., 1936
Judge William B. Bryant Biography - March 18, 1994
William B. Bryant served on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia beginning in 1965, when he was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson, until his death in 2005, and as Chief Judge from 1977 to 1981.
For more than 20 years, Judge Bryant taught trial practice at Howard University Law School. As a judge he presided over many landmark cases, including Campbell v. McGruder (constitutional challenge to the conditions at the D.C. Jail), Dellums v. Powell (challenge to constitutionality of arrest of individuals protesting the Vietnam War), Hodgson v. United Mine Workers (overturning the election of President of the United Mine Workers), and several high-profile, political cases.
Prior to being appointed to the federal bench, Judge Bryant was a prominent criminal lawyer at the law firm of Houston, Bryant and Gardner in Washington, D.C. While in private practice, Judge Bryant litigated a number of high profile criminal cases, including the landmark case of Mallory v. United States, in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a criminal conviction on the ground that the defendant’s confession was obtained unlawfully.
After law school, Judge Bryant served as a research assistant to Ralph Bunche on the famous study on blacks in America, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, and in the Army during World War II, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. From 1951 to 1954 he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Judge Bryant was born in Wetumpka, Alabama, but lived in Washington, D.C. from the age of one. He graduated from Howard University and Howard University Law School.
Richard C. Henderson was commissioned in 1978 by Judge George Luzerne Hart, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to paint portraits of both sitting and former judges of the District Court. Mr. Henderson painted portraits of deceased judges by studying black and white photographs and talking with friends and family of the judges. Within a five-year period, he produced 23 portraits. At the conclusion of his commission, Mr. Henderson continued his work producing portraits and landscape paintings. He taught at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, as well as at several private art schools.
Mr. Henderson is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he majored in Art and English; he holds a Master’s degree from Vermont College of Norwich University, which is today the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York, working with Daniel Green, a recognized pastelist. Mr. Henderson also studied under Harvey Dinnerstein, one of several artists trained at the Tyler School of Arts at Temple University. Mr. Henderson studied at the Art Students League of New York with Robert Brackman, a Russian artist who become nationally famous after painting the portraits of Charles and Ann Lindbergh, among others.