Campbell Avenue is named in honor of Edmund D. and Elizabeth P. Campbell, whose accomplishments and civic activism set a high standard for all to follow.
Edmund Douglas Campbell was born March 12, 1899, in Lexington, Virginia, the son of the dean of Washington and Lee University (W&L). He graduated as the valedictorian from W&L in 1918. By 1922, he had received a Master's degree in economics from Harvard and graduated from the W&L School of Law.
Edmund Campbell moved to Northern Virginia, where he achieved success as a lawyer and civic activist. In June 1936, Edmund Campbell wed Elizabeth Pfohl. Together they would raise four children. He served as chairman of Arlington County's first public utilities commission and as a member of the Arlington County Board (1940-1946). He was chairman of the county board in 1942 and 1946. In 1955, he helped found Arlingtonians for a Better County, a nonpartisan group that became a powerful political force in the county.
During the mid-to late-1950s, Edmund Campbell and his wife Elizabeth were instrumental in forming the Save Our Schools Committee, organized to fight Virginia's policy of "massive resistance" to the U.S. Supreme Court desegregation decisions. In 1958, he argued the case in Federal court which resulted in Virginia's massive resistance laws being declared unconstitutional. This case, together with a similar case before the Supreme Court of Virginia, resulted in the reopening of public schools in several Virginia localities and the integration of Virginia's public schools. On February 2, 1959, Arlington's Stratford Junior High School (known now as H-B Woodlawn) became the first integrated public school in Virginia.
In 1962, Edmund Campbell successfully argued to the United States Supreme Court that Northern Virginia localities, including Arlington and Fairfax, were illegally under- represented in the Virginia General Assembly. This case, along with others, resulted in the Court's landmark "one man, one vote" decision that established equality of representation in state legislatures nationwide.
Edmund Campbell was president of the Washington, D.C. Bar Association (1961-1962), a member of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates (1964-1970), and a member of the American Bar Association's Board of Governors (1972-1975).
Edmund D. Campbell died on December 7, 1995, in Arlington. Following his death, The Washington Post stated: "In life, as in court, Ed Campbell fought injustice with a passion, insisting that freedom be accorded citizens without regard to color or belief."