Courier Staff Report
Crispus Attucks Wright, born in 1914 to a former slave, rose from selling newspapers on streetcorners to become a prominent Beverly Hills attorney and businessman especially noted for his generosity.
His father, Warner Wright, Sr., was born enslaved on a Louisiana plantation and freed at the age of eight. He attended a college founded for ex-slaves and established himself with a career in education, serving as the principal of a school in Alexandria, Va. He had eight children, naming several of them after African-American heroes. Crispus was named after Crispus Attucks, the first African-American to die in the Cival War. Warner Wright, Sr., died when Crispus was six years old.
Read more about Crispus Attucks Wright, free from people.com.
Crispus followed his father's example and put himself through college, sometimes working three jobs to pay to attend the University of Southern California, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science, and then a degree in law in 1938.
After serving in the army, he established his law practice in Beverly Hills. In 1943, Wright co-founded the John M. Langston Bar Association for African Americans. He had been kept excluded from existing bar associations because of his race . He was inducted into the Langston Bar Association Hall of Fame in 1990.
In 1997, Attucks donated $2 million to USC fund the Crispus Attucks Wright Scholarships, at the time, the largest gift to USC by an African American. The scholarships support minority law students and others dedicated to practice in underserved minority communities.
In addition to his law practice, Attucks owned a mortuary and eight convenience stores.
Attucks died on December 4, 2001.