Arthur O'Neil Fisher
The Honorable Arthur O’Neil Fisher (1919-2002) was the son of a shoe-shine man who rose to become the first African American to win election to a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judgeship. His public career began during World War II when he served as a bombardier-navigator with the Tuskegee Airmen. After the war he completed his undergraduate degree and then obtained a law degree. He served as an Assistant City Prosecutor in Dayton, Assistant Montgomery County Prosecutor, Dayton Municipal Court Judge, Domestic Relations Judge and Juvenile Judge. He was known as an innovative and compassionate adjudicator who established such programs as the first in house drug treatment program in Juvenile Court. He was a quiet but effective leader in the Civil Rights movement, and won recognition often, including a Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legend Award.–Inducted: 2000. Photograph courtesy of Arthur O. Fisher. It originally appeared in Dayton’s African American Heritage by Margaret Peters.