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Biddle, Francis Beverley (09 May 1886–04 October 1968), lawyer, judge, and U.S. attorney general, was born in Paris, France, the son of Algernon Sydney Biddle, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Frances Robinson. Biddle attended Haverford Academy (1895–1899); Groton Academy (1899–1905), where he excelled at boxing and gymnastics; and Harvard University, from which he graduated with a B.A. cum laude in 1909 and an LL.B. in 1911. His first job upon graduating was as personal secretary to Associate Justice ...

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Black, Jeremiah Sullivan (10 January 1810–19 August 1883), U.S. attorney general, U.S. secretary of state, and attorney, was born near Stony Creek, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry Black, a judge and legislator, and Mary Sullivan. Black read law under Chauncey Forward in Somerset, Pennsylvania, passing his bar examination at age twenty. When Forward was elected to Congress in 1830, he left Black in charge of his office, and the young attorney assumed responsibilities far beyond his experience. Black’s practice in Forward’s office became more secure when in 1836 he married Forward’s daughter Mary Forward. They had five children. In 1843 Black was baptized into his father-in-law’s faith, the Disciples of Christ church, and developed a close personal friendship with its founder ...

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Homer Cummings. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90035).

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Cummings, Homer Stillé (30 April 1870–10 September 1956), attorney, Democratic party leader, and attorney general of the United States, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Uriah C. Cummings, a businessman, and Audie Schuyler Stillé. Educated at the Heathcote School in upstate New York, the Sheffield School of Engineering of Yale University, and the Yale Law School, from which he graduated in 1893, Cummings opened a legal practice in Stamford, Connecticut, soon thereafter and formed a partnership with Charles D. Lockwood that lasted until he joined the ...

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Hoar, Ebenezer Rockwood (21 February 1816–31 January 1895), judge and attorney general, was born in Concord, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Hoar, a lawyer and congressman, and Sarah Sherman. Hoar was a mischievous and precocious lad whose scholarship was enhanced by keeping up with his older sister Elizabeth. Although he was ready to enter college at fourteen, his father suggested that he work on a farm for a year. During his first day’s work, Hoar (who was nearsighted) stepped on a scythe and permanently injured his foot, but he was able to participate in the interclass mayhem known as football when he entered Harvard in 1831. After graduating third in the class of 1835, Hoar taught Latin to young girls for a year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Returning home, he read law under his father’s tutelage, entered Harvard Law School in 1837, received his LL.B. in 1839, and on 30 September of that year was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. Hoar began to practice in Concord, where he married Caroline Downes Brooks in 1840; they had seven children....

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Reverdy Johnson. Photograph from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the National Archives (NWDNS-111-B-1197).

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Johnson, Reverdy (21 May 1796–10 February 1876), lawyer, U.S. attorney general, and U.S. senator, was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of John Johnson, a lawyer and Maryland legislator, and Deborah Ghieselen. A member of a distinguished Maryland legal family (John Johnson served as a judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, chancellor, and attorney general), Johnson was educated at St. John’s College in Annapolis. After graduating in 1811 and serving briefly as a private in the War of 1812, he began his legal training under his father and entered the bar in 1816. He established his law practice in Baltimore in 1817 and remained active in the Baltimore bar for the next sixty years. He married Mary Mackall Bowie in 1819, with whom he had fifteen children....

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Robert F. Kennedy. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ61-1866).

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Robert F. Kennedy Speaking at the University of Mississippi, 1966. Courtesy of Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111226).

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Kennedy, Robert Francis (20 November 1925–06 June 1968), politician, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, a capitalist, and Rose Fitzgerald. His father Joseph made a fortune in the stock market and through other investments and served from 1938 to 1940 as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. The seventh of nine children, Robert, known as “Bobby,” graduated from Milton Academy in 1943. In March 1944 he enrolled in the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, leaving it in February 1946 to become an apprentice seaman aboard the destroyer USS ...