Lester LeFevre Cecil

 11/21/1893 - 11/26/1982

Inducted 2003


Lester LeFevre Cecil was an attorney, Dayton Municipal Judge, Judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and Judge and Chief Judge of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as a judge for 56 years, dealing with both small cases and larger ones involving complicated constitutional questions. He went farther in the judicial hierarchy than any lawyer who has ever practiced in the area. He has been described as a man of “uncompromising honesty and integrity that brooked no challenge” and as possessing the “sense of fairness and justice so necessary to the legal process.” A famous anecdote involved a defendant who appeared before him with a Bible under his arm. Judge Cecil asked him if he was represented by counsel. The man looked toward the ceiling and declared “Jesus Christ is my counselor and defender.” The Judge replied, “Do you have local counsel?” Judge Cecil was an active volunteer in a number of civic organizations.