Born in Toronto, of West Indian immigrant parents, Braithwaite was raised in the Kensington Market area during the Great Depression and attended Harbord Collegiate.

Joined the RCAF in 1943 – served Overseas. Graduated University of Toronto [B.Comm.1950], Harvard University [M.B.A.1952], Osgoode Hall Law School, Gold Key [LL.B.1958]. Order of Canada 1997, Order of Ontario 2005. The First Black Person elected to a Legislature in Canada [1963] and [1999] First Black Lawyer elected to be a Member of the Governing Council of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

1964, spoke out at Queen’s Park that some rural, Coloured-only schools were still legally segregating Black children. His work led to the abolishment of the 114 year old Ontario Law permitting segregation. Fought for gender equality – 1966, – questioned Ontario Legislature why Student Pages working at Queen’s Park were all Male. Later, Female Pages were appointed. Braithwaite’s life-long actions in many fields have helped effect change and opened doors for many aspiring Minority Canadians.