Henry Ramsey, 80


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Henry Ramsey Jr., former Alameda County Judge and true practitioner of justice, passed away last Friday at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. He was 80 years old.

Ramsey obtained a degree in philosophy from UC Riverside in 1960 and later earned a law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.

Ramsey began his legal career as a prosecutor in Contra Costa County and later worked in private practice as a trial lawyer. Ramsey served a member of the faculty at Boalt Hall from 1971 to 1980. It was during this time that he was also elected to the Berkeley City Council. From 1973 to 1977, Ramsey committed his time and energy to ensuring the growth and innovation of the city of Berkeley.

Ramsey was elected an Alameda County Superior Court judge from 1981 to 1990 before serving as dean of the Howard University School of Law for five years after.

“Judge Henry Ramsey was truly a renowned leader in the fight for social justice….Ramsey was acutely aware of the role the judicial systems plays in the fight for equality and justice,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee

“I believe his legacy will inspire many to speak for the voiceless and stand up for justice across the globe. I will deeply miss his wise counsel and friendship,” she added.

Ramsey leaves his wife Eleanor and six children to cherish his memory.

Tentatively, a memorial service is to be held in April to celebrate the legacy of Henry Ramsey.


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