Who would have thought there would be a connection between Fordham’s prestigious law school, a determined African American woman and notorious mob boss, Lucky Luciano.
In a time when it was the rarest of circumstances for a woman - let alone a black woman to pursue a professional life in law enforcement, Eunice Carter achieved a few firsts. With a dream and s desire from the time she was 8 years old, Ms Carter is quoted as saying that she wanted to be a lawyer “to make sure the bad people went to jail.“
A graduate of the class of 1932, Ms Carter attended law school while raising her son and working a full-time position as a supervisor in the Harlem division of the Emergency Unemployment Committee. No easy task even in today’s world of modern conveniences and equal rights.
After receiving her law degree, she became the first African American woman to serve as a New York assistant district attorney, as well as the only woman and person of color on the team. Her team was led by the future New York governor Thomas E. Dewey and what they would accomplish would go down in the annals of law enforcement history for bringing one of the country’s biggest gangsters to justice.
According to Fordham magazine article, Pioneering Prosecutor, written by Ray Legendre, Carter's grandson, Yale Law School professor and best-selling author Stephen L. Carter, recounts his grandmother's time at Fordham, her meteoric rise as a prosecutor, and her work on the Charles "Lucky"Luciano case in his new book, Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster, published last October by MacMillan.
An amazing woman and a role model for young girls today, Carter proclaimed in her own words, spoken at the International Council Women triennial conference in Greece years later, "Skill, talent, and ingenuity prevail in woman-kind as well as man-kind. A country or community which fails to allow its women to choose and develop their individual beings in an atmosphere of freedom thrusts away from itself a large part of the human resources which can give it strength and vitality."