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Paul A. Dandridge, Philadelphia judge who advocated for troubled youth and people in addiction, dies at 93

Readers of Black Brothers, Inc.: The Violent Rise and Fall of Philadelphia’s Black Mafia (Milo, 2005/07) are intimately familiar with the name Paul Dandridge.  Dandridge, first as an Assistant District Attorney and then as a Municipal Judge, played key roles in the history of Philly’s infamous and murderous syndicate.  Please find below coverage of his passing at age 93.

By Bonnie L. Cook, Philadelphia Inquirer

Paul A. Dandridge, 93, of Wyncote, a Philadelphia judge who during his time on Municipal and Common Pleas Courts advocated for troubled youths and people in addiction, died on Thursday, April 23, of complications from a fall.

Born in West Philadelphia, Judge Dandridge graduated from West Philadelphia High School and attended Howard University before being drafted into the Army Air Force in March 1945. He graduated from Lincoln University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

At first, he made a living by “doing everything,” said his wife, Claudia. He was a cab driver, bartender, caterer, post office clerk, Philadelphia medical examiner’s assistant, and investigator for the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

He attended Temple University’s law school at night. After graduating in 1965, he worked as an assistant district attorney under then-District Attorney Arlen Specter.

Rest is here.


“He and Arlen were very close,” his wife said. “He worked on Arlen’s campaign when Arlen was running for mayor.” In 1967, Specter, a Republican, ran unsuccessfully against Democratic incumbent James H.J. Tate.

In November 1968, Judge Dandridge was elected to serve as one of the first jurists on the then-fledgling Municipal Court.

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