A young I.S. Leevy Johnson in the SC General Assembly.

I. S. Leevy Johnson

Lawyer and civil rights activist

I. S. Leevy Johnson (1942 – ), a native of Columbia, South Carolina, became the first African American in the 20th century to graduate from the University of South Carolina’s School of Law in 1968 after completing all three years on the Columbia campus. He broke another barrier two years later when he became one of the first African Americans since the late-19th century to be elected to the South Carolina General Assembly. Fifteen years later, Johnson became the first African American president of the South Carolina Bar Association. Today, he still practices law and runs a family funeral home with his sons.

Image courtesy of The State Newspaper Photograph Archive, Richland Library

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