The Honorable Judge Alton Waldon, Jr. P'90, a former Congressman, will give a lecture titled “Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream: Can We Keep It Alive?” on at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the Sanford Room. A reception in the library atrium will follow.
Alton R. Waldon, Jr. was born in 1936, in a one room house in Lakeland, Florida. He moved with his family at age six to New York where his father found work as a longshoreman. He grew up in a cold water flat in the Bedford-Stuy section of Brooklyn and attended New York City public schools.
After graduating Boys High School and serving three years in the Army, Mr. Waldon pursued a varied career from amateur basketball to working as a professional singer in the late 1950's.
He joined the City's Housing Police department in 1962. He rose to the rank of captain where he ran the Housing Police Academy, while at the same time attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice and New York Law School at night. While at New York Law School he received the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship for academic achievement. Al has been an attorney since 1975, and an agent successfully representing professional athletes (basketball, football and tennis) and entertainers since 1978. In 1975 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the State Division of Human Rights.
He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1982. Included in the many bills that Mr. Waldon sponsored which became law during his tenure in the State Assembly are: the Organized Crime Control Act; the Children and Family Trust Fund Act; Neighborhood Crime Prevention Act. Additionally, he is responsible for securing millions of dollars for education, prenatal care, substance abuse treatment, the elderly, health, economic development, sports and the arts, and youth programs in Southeast Queens. In particular he obtained $26.4 million for York College.
On June 10, 1986 he was the first African-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the history of Queens County. He served in the 99th Congress and was on the Committees on Education, Labor and Small Business.
After leaving Congress, Mr. Waldon served as Commissioner of the NYS Commission of Investigation from 1987 to 1990. His investigation of the “Carting Industry” in New York City served to help identify organized crime's control of industry.
He was elected to the State Senate in 1990. His local initiative, “Save Our Streets” was an effort of “neighborhood block watchers” anonymously alerting the police to drug activities in their neighborhoods resulting in hundreds of drug arrests and padlocking of drug locations.
He was nominated to become a Judge of the Court of Claims of the State of New York by Governor George E. Pataki and assumed the bench on January 10, 2000. Judge Waldon sits as a “Paragraph A” Judge with chambers and court at 26 Broadway, New York, New York.
He sits on the Board of Directors of the USO of Metropolitan NY; Sigma Pi Phi fraternity; Life Member, NAACP; Comus Club; F and A.M. Masons, Prince Hall, 33rd; United Black Men of Queens; Macon B. Allen Bar Association; Life Member, Former Members of Congress of the United States; Alumni Association, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Alumni Association of New York Law School; Judge Waldon is listed in Gale's “Who's Who Amongst African Americans” and in Marquis “Who's Who in America.”
Married for 41 years, he and his wife Barbara have three children, Alton, Dana and Ian and four grandchildren, Alton IV and Kyle Alexander, Jade Nicole Carbuccia, and Yahnie Raquel Waldon.