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judge_saundra_brown_armstrong_official_portrait_by_scott_johnston_oil_on_linen_38x26_inches_collection_of_the_united_states_district_court_of_northern_california_oaklandJudge Saundra Brown Armstrong is currently the Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Since 1970, Judge Armstrong has made epic strides in her career both as a policewoman and as an attorney with a couple of historic achievements along the way.

Mrs. Armstrong was born in 1947 in Oakland, Calif. as the second oldest of her parents’ five children. According to Armstrong’s accounts, education was a priority in their household along with good values and character.

Armstrong graduated from Northern California’s Merritt College in 1967 with an associate degree, obtaining her bachelor’s degree two years later from California State University, Fresno. That following year, Armstrong entered the Oakland Police Academy and became the Oakland Police Department’s first Black female officer. She was just one of seven other women who made the force.

After leaving law enforcement in 1977, Armstrong earned her J.D. From the University of San Francisco School of Law. Armstrong then became the first Black female prosecutor in California’s Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. She worked in several high-profile judicial positions from that point on, including serving as the Alameda County’s Deputy District Attorney for several years.

On June 21, 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed Armstrong to serve on the bench of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. She maintains a robust weekly schedule at the Oakland Courthouse and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

PHOTO: Official portrait

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Little Known Black History Fact: Saundra Brown Armstrong  was originally published on