We all have people in our lives who have uplifted us. People who have inspired us by their life's story and helped us to believe that possibilities abound if we believe in ourselves. The Honorable George N. Leighton is one of those people that moves and encourages me. The 101-year-old federal judge is a testament to defying the odds and conventional wisdom and through lots of hard work and determination has become a Man for All Seasons. Born in New Bedford, MA on October 22, 1912, his parents had arrived here from Cape Verde, and because of their need to sustain the family, George Leighton was forced to quit school in the sixth grade to work. That didn't stop him from reading as much as he could and entered and won a scholarship for $200 to attend Howard University, graduating magna  cum laud. World War II erupted and George Leighton served as a Captain in the Infantry, returning to civilian life and entering Harvard Law School. As a civil rights attorney, the first African American to serve the Illinois Appellate Court and then appointed to the United States District Court, Judge Leighton has given us a legacy of social progress and is an inspiration for us all. The title Honorable defines who he is, his character, his persistence and his life.

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