George Leighton, pioneering Civil Rights attorney and judge, dead at 105

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George Leighton, the pioneering Civil Rights attorney and judge whose name adorns a Chicago courthouse, has died at the age of 105. (WLS)

George Leighton, the pioneering Civil Rights attorney and judge whose name adorns a Chicago courthouse, has died at the age of 105.

Langdon Neal, partner at Neal & Leroy where Leighton worked after he retired from the bench, confirmed the former judge died at about 5 p.m. Wednesday in a veteran's hospital in Brockton, Mass., after a week-long battle with pneumonia.

The Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California was renamed The Honorable George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building in his honor.

The Cook County Board voted to rename the building in 2012, when Leighton was 99.

Leighton was the first African American to sit on the Illinois appellate court, and was later named a federal judge, the ABC7 I-Team reports.
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