Camille Francis Gravel, Jr.
(August 10, 1915—December 23, 2005), was a Louisiana
Gravel spent much time and money supporting the Roman Catholic Church
. Pope Pius XII
honored Gravel with the "Order of St. Gregory" for his outstanding service to the church.
Gravel graduated in 1935 from the University of Notre Dame
in South Bend, Indiana
. He attended law school at Louisiana State University
in Baton Rouge
and The Catholic University of America
in Washington, D.C.
, from 1937–1939, but once explained that he just could not stick to the books. At a time when a law degree was not required to become a lawyer
, Gravel "read for the law" and passed the bar exam in 1940.
Gravel introduced Louis Berry
, the first African American
lawyer to have been admitted to the Alexandria Bar Association. Berry said that no other white lawyer in Alexandria would introduce him.
The 1948 Democratic Convention
Gravel was an early civil rights
activist who was derided by Louisiana segregationist
Democrats in the 1950s as an "integrationist." He attracted national attention when he led the loyal Louisiana Democratic delegation to the 1948 national convention in Philadelphia
, when delegates from Mississippi
walked out in protest of a civil rights
plank in the party platform
supported by the party nominee President Harry S. Truman
Oddly, Gravel in the fall of 1948 was the elector for the Eighth......