Walter Lear Gordon, Jr. (1908 – 2012), was born in Santa Monica, California, the only child of Vertner Gordon and Walter Sr., who delivered mail on horseback in South Pasadena. Walter Jr grew up in the Rose Hills neighborhood, north of Lincoln Heights, attending Rose Hill Elementary School and then Lincoln High School, where he was one of the few African-American students. After high school, he attended USC for two years before transferring to Ohio State University from where he graduated with a law degree in 1936. After graduation, Walter and a friend moved back to California where they promoted live shows and held dances at the local clubs under the name “Gordon and Nickens.” He established a successful law practice; singer Billie Holiday was one of his more high profile clients. He was married four times and had three children. Gordon continued to practice as an attorney into his early 90s.