Born in Washington 3 September 1895. After studying at Dunbar High School, Amherst College and Harvard University Law School he became a university lecturer. In July, 1935, Walter Francis White recruited Houston to establish a legal department for the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). The following year Houston appointed Thurgood Marshall as his assistant. Over the next few years Houston and Marshall used the courts to challenge racist laws concerning transport, housing and education. Houston was professor of law, later dean of Howard University Law School. Houston died 20 April 1950.
Photograph by Addison N. Scurlock, ca. 1931. Scurlock Studio Records, ca. 1905-1994, Archives Center, National Museum of American History