Lloyd Lionel Gaines grew up in St. Louis and was valedictorian of his high school class. After attending graduating from Lincoln University with a B.A. in history with honors in 1935, Mr. Gaines applied to the University of Missouri School of Law in 1936.
Although Mr. Gaines had an outstanding scholastic record, Mr. Gaines was denied admission to the School of Law based solely on the grounds that Missouri’s constitution called for “equal separation of the races.” While state law required for Missouri to pay for Mr. Gaines to attend law school in Iowa, Kansas, or Nebraska, Mr. Gaines decided to fight for his right to attend law school in the state he called home. With legal assistance from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Mr. Gaines challenged the University of Missouri’s admissions policies, seeking to desegregate the program.
For more information on Mr. Gaines, please visit the Lloyd L. Gaines Digital Collection at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/gaines/.