Philadelphia civic leader dies at 84

January 23, 2008 5:45:02 AM PST
William J. Lederer, whose career included serving as a senior judge and state representative, has died. He was 84.

Lederer, of Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, died Sunday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania following a long fight with cancer, his family said.

A Democrat, Lederer served in the Legislature from 1963 to 1973.

In 1974, he began serving as a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge. He later became a senior judge on the Commonwealth, Superior and Common Pleas courts.

His state House seat was later held for seven terms by his wife, Marie Lederer. The seat was also held by Lederer's father, Miles, and his brother, Raymond, who later became a U.S. congressman but resigned following a bribery conviction in the Abscam scandal.

Lederer's political career began in 1954 as a city council aide. He moved on to several other government jobs before being elected to the state House of Representatives.

Lederer served in the military during World War II, where he organized U.S. Army schools in India. He later went to La Salle College, where he graduated in 1950, and the Temple University School of Law, where he graduated in 1953.

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