Prominent civil rights attorney Henderson dies

By Cara Bailey | Oct 24, 2007

HUNTINGTON - A prominent Huntington attorney, know for his work as a civil rights leader, has died.

HUNTINGTON - A prominent Huntington attorney, know for his work as a civil rights leader, has died.

Herb Henderson, who many call a champion of civil rights, passed away Oct. 16 in Cornerstone Hospital. He was 78.

Henderson, the first black student to graduate from George Washington Law School, almost 50 years ago, was one of the most noticeable names in the history of race relations in West Virginia.

Henderson was the president of the West Virginia NAACP for 20 years and an adviser and counsel for the organization at the national level. He was the lead attorney in the 1961-65 desegregation case for Marshall students, John Hereford v. White Pantry Restaurant.

The result of the case ended in several restaurants in Huntington being opened to all races.

He was also the attorney in the NAACP v. West Virginia Department of Public Safety, which allowed African-American woman to be admitted to the State Police.

He passed on the interest in law to his children in Huntington, where three of his four daughters are attorneys. Cheryl Henderson, Sherri Henderson and Gail Henderson-Staples are attorneys at Henderson, Henderson and Staples.

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