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Hand, Learnedlocked

(27 January 1872–18 August 1961)
  • Gerald Gunther


Hand, Learned (27 January 1872–18 August 1961), federal judge, was born Billings Learned Hand in Albany, New York, the son of Samuel Hand, a prominent attorney, and Lydia Coit Learned. Learned Hand came from a family of lawyers, including his two uncles and his paternal grandfather. His father, a refined, emotionally removed gentleman, specialized in arguing before the New York Court of Appeals, on which he served briefly as a judge. His death, when Learned was only fourteen, heightened the boy’s esteem for his highly successful father but also led to unrealistic expectations that resulted in a lifelong sense of inadequacy. Hand was a studious, withdrawn boy whose primary pleasures were reading and hiking in the Adirondacks with his cousin ...

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