Leonard L. McCants
Date of Death: September 1, 2008
Leonard Lewis McCants, 63, former chairman of the District's Board of Zoning Adjustment and founder of the Silver Spring law firm McCants and Associates, died of stomach cancer Sept. 1 at Georgetown University Medical Center.
At the age of 30, Mr. McCants was appointed to the zoning adjustment board by Mayor Walter Washington in the mid-1970s. He wrote a report on the nuances and players in D.C. politics for incoming president Jimmy Carter's transition team in 1976. He also represented D.C. GeneralHospital in the 1980s.
Born in Charleston, S.C., he moved to the District in 1963 to attend Howard University, graduating in 1968. He became president of the local Young Democrats in 1967 and attended the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago as a delegate.
He enrolled in the University of Virginia law school in 1969, part of the then-largest class of black students in the school's history. That class, which graduated in 1972, pressured the law school to hire its first black and female professors.
After receiving his degree, Mr. McCants returned to Washington to practice real estate law at Linowes and Blocher. After passing the Maryland bar exam and joining the District bar, he argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 1977, Mr. McCants and 15 other lawyers formed the Black Law Club for lawyers in suburban Maryland. The club became the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association.
He was a member of several bar associations and served on the boards of the Universal Bank of Maryland and the Booker T. Washington Foundation.
Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Laurana McCants of Washington; three sons, Lark McCants of Atlanta, Leonard McCants II of San Francisco and Henry McCants of ArlingtonCounty; his mother, Reva McCants of Charleston, S.C.; four brothers; three sisters; and two grandsons.
Family will receive friends on Saturday, September 6 at DUNBARTON CHAPEL, Howard University Law School, 2900 Van Ness Street NW, Washington, DC20008 at 11 a.m.; service at noon. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to: J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association Scholarship Fund Inc., in memory of Leonard L. McCants, Esq, P.O. Box 1121, Upper Marlboro, MD 20773.