A native of Baltimore, George L. Russell has had an extensive career as a lawyer and has been recognized by many for his dedication to the community. 

Russell received his primary and secondary education from Baltimore City public schools, graduating from Frederick Douglass Senior High School in 1946. 

After earning a degree in economics from Lincoln University, he returned to Maryland, obtaining a degree in law from the University of Maryland School Of Law in 1954. 

After serving two years in the United States Army, Russell returned to Baltimore in 1956, beginning his life-long legal career. 

Russell became the first African-American city solicitor for Baltimore City and was the first African American to sit on the Circuit Court of Maryland.  He was also the first African-American president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City and the first African American from Maryland to be elected to the American College of trial lawyers. 

Throughout his 50-year career, Russell has been very active in professional organizations, business endeavors and community organizations. He served as a trustee for Villa Julie College and also was the chair of the board of Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Baltimore branch.

Russell currently serves as a trustee for the Baltimore City Historical Society, and is a member of the board of governors of the National Museum of Baltimore. Additionally, Russell serves as the chairman of the boars at Reginald F. Lewis Maryland Museum of African-American History and Culture. 

His distinguished service to the community in the area of law has resulted in several distinguished awards including, The Henry G. Parks Jr. Business award, an induction in the National Bar Association Hall of Fame, the Walter Sondeheim Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Greater Baltimore Urban Leagues’ Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial award.

On Feb. 14, the AFRO honored Russell for his amazing career in law at the company’s fifth annual Legends and Pioneers ceremony at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.