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Henry Bramwell

Henry Bramwell

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York Brooklyn, New York (Retired)

Born: Brooklyn, New York-September 3, 1919
Education: Brooklyn Law School (LL.B. 1948).
With his appointment on December 26, 1974, Judge Henry Bramwell became the first African-American appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was appointed by President Ford. Judge Bramwell assumed senior status on October 1, 1987, and retired thereafter.

Judge Bramwell was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Admitted to law school without an undergraduate degree, Bramwell attended Brooklyn Law School following World War II. He received his LL.B. degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1948.

Judge Bramwell began his professional career as a general practitioner in the Borough Hall area of Brooklyn. For about twelve years, he was legal counsel to the branch of the National Alliance of Postal Employees. Additionally, under his legal guidance, the Surface Line Operators Fraternal Organization, Inc. grew in size and stature from a few bus operators of the New York City Transit Authority meeting in a small rented store room on Fulton Street, to a membership of over 1,000 with their own meeting hall at Transit Hall on Willoughby and Nostrand Avenues. During his early years, Judge Bramwell was active and participated in the Higher Horizons Program of the Board of Education of the City of New York.

From December of 1953 to April of 1961, Judge Bramwell was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. He began as a prosecutor in the civil division of the office and was there for approximately three years. Thereafter, he was a prosecutor in the criminal division for approximately four and a half years. He was the first African-American to be a prosecutor in the criminal division. From 1961 to 1963, Judge Bramwell was Associate Counsel to the New York State Rent Commission. From 1965 to 1966, he was a Special Hearing Officer for conscientious objectors for the Department of Justice.

In September 1966, Judge Bramwell was appointed a Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York, and thereafter, in 1968, he was elected to the Court with bipartisan endorsement. He served as an Assistant Administrative Judge of the Court until January 1975. He also served during this time as an Acting Supreme Court Justice for one year in the trial of civil proceedings.

From 1965 to 1975, Judge Bramwell was a Judge of the New York City Civil Court. He was appointed to the federal bench in 1974. He assumed senior status in 1987 and retired shortly thereafter.

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