Samuel Snipes, a white lawyer who held off an angry mob while representing the first Black family to move into the all-white development of Levittown, has died. He was 99.
Snipes died Dec. 31 at his family farm in Morrisville, according to family members.
In 1957, he represented Daisy and Bill Myers when the Black couple and their three young children quietly moved into Levittown.
“He felt they had every right to live there,” said David Kushner, author of the 2009 book “Levittown” that explored the ordeal. “He played a pivotal role in helping the first African-American family move into Levittown and left a really wonderful legacy in that regard, in taking on the system and doing what was right.”
And got 99 well-deserved years. Sounds like that could've gone otherwise.
Howell Begle, a Washington lawyer who found a second career crusading on behalf of underpaid black R&B stars of the 1950s and ’60s, leading to industrywide royalty reform and the creation of the charitable Rhythm & Blues Foundation, died on Dec. 30 at a hospital in Lebanon, N.H. He was 74.
Way too young, but he lived long enough to untarnish the reputation of lawyers. There are some very nice ones.