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Anderson, Joseph Inslee (05 November 1757–17 April 1837), jurist, U.S. senator, and Treasury official, was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Anderson and Elizabeth Inslee (occupations unknown). When not yet twenty, Anderson enlisted in the Continental army as a private and rose to the rank of major by the war’s end. He was regimental paymaster during much of the war, and his experience in that capacity served him well in positions he held later. He was with ...

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Arnold, Thurman (02 June 1891–07 November 1969), lawyer, social and economic theorist, and government official, was born Thurman Wesley Arnold in Laramie, Wyoming, the son of Constantine Peter Arnold, a prominent attorney and rancher, and Annie Brockway. After spending his youth in what he would later remember “as a time that Tom Sawyer would have envied,” Arnold enrolled, for one year, at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1907. After a college career characterized by loneliness, he graduated from Princeton University, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in 1911. Arnold received his LL.D. from Harvard Law School in 1914 and then entered legal practice in Chicago with the firm of Adams, Follansbee, Hawley, and Shorey. In 1916 he established the firm of O’Bryan, Waite, and Arnold. Eight months later his artillery battery of the Illinois National Guard was mobilized for duty with General ...

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Ballantine, Arthur Atwood (03 August 1883–10 October 1960), corporate lawyer and Treasury official, was born in Oberlin, Ohio, the son of William Gay Ballantine, a professor and president of Oberlin College, and Emma Atwood. He graduated with honors from Harvard College (1904) and Harvard Law School (1907). On 19 June 1907 he married Helen Bailey Graves; they had five children....

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Bennett, James Van Benschoten (28 August 1894–19 November 1978), director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, was born in Silver Creek, New York, the son of Edmund C. Bennett, an Episcopalian clergyman, and Mary Frances Berry, a former teacher. Bennett attended Brown University, where he received an A.B. in 1918, and served in the Army Air Corps during the closing months of World War I. In 1919 he married Marie Ettl; they had three children....

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Brown, Walter Folger (31 May 1869–26 January 1961), lawyer, politician, and government official, was born in Massillon, Ohio, the son of James Marshall Brown, a lawyer, and Lavinia Folger. Reared in comfortable circumstances, Brown graduated from Western Reserve Academy in 1888 and Harvard University in 1892, worked briefly for the ...

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Bundy, Harvey Hollister (30 March 1888–07 October 1963), lawyer, assistant secretary of state, and special assistant to the secretary of war, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of McGeorge Bundy, a lawyer, and Mary Goodhue Hollister. Bundy attended private school in his hometown and Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York. He graduated from Yale University in 1909 with a degree in psychology. Unsure about a career in law, he accepted a one-year teaching position at St. Mark’s Boys Preparatory School in Southboro, Massachusetts. The following year he served as a traveling companion for a “wayward” boy on a trip around much of the world, which seems to have shaped Bundy’s love for international affairs. Upon his return he entered Harvard University Law School, and following graduation in 1914, he worked as a stenographic clerk, legal aide, and traveling companion for U.S. Supreme Court justice ...

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Cary, William Lucius (27 November 1910–07 February 1983), chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and law professor, was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of William Lincoln Cary, a utilities lawyer and executive, and Ellen Taugher. At the age of sixteen Cary enrolled at Yale College, where he received his A.B. in 1931. In 1934 he received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he took one of the last corporate finance courses taught by ...

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Casey, William Joseph (13 March 1913–06 May 1987), lawyer and government official, was born in New York City, the son of William Joseph Casey, Sr., a city official and Democratic party functionary, and Blanche La Vigne, a department store stock buyer. The eldest of three surviving children, William Casey, familiarly known as “Bill,” eschewed the suffix “junior.”...

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Cotton, Joseph Potter (22 July 1875–10 March 1931), corporate lawyer and public official, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Joseph Cotton and Isabella Cole. Following a public education in Newport, Cotton attended Harvard College, graduating in 1896. He taught English at Harvard in 1896–1897, earned an A.M. in 1897, and then entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1897. A distinguished student, he became editor in chief of the ...

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Dean, Gordon Evans (28 December 1905–15 August 1958), lawyer and public servant, was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of John Marvin Dean, a Baptist clergyman, and Beatrice Alice Fisken. A strong element of serendipity marked Dean’s early career. As a student at the University of Redlands, he planned to be a teacher of English, but he changed his major to political science following his first traumatic encounter with students as an apprentice at a local junior high school. After graduating in 1927, he obtained a law degree at the University of Southern California (USC), where he came under the protective wing of the law school dean, Justin Miller. In 1930 Dean married Adelaide Williamson. They had two children before divorcing in 1953. Through the intercession of Miller, who in 1930 was appointed dean at Duke University, Dean that same year became assistant dean and instructor at Duke and acquired a master’s degree in law from the university in 1932....

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Dickinson, John (24 February 1894–09 April 1952), jurist, scholar, and public official, was born John Sharpe Dickinson in Greensboro, Maryland, the son of Willard Dickinson and Caroline Schnauffer. In 1903 the family moved to Baltimore, where John completed his secondary education at the Boy’s Latin School. By all accounts, he was a brilliant student. After majoring in classics and graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 1913, at age nineteen, Dickinson proceeded to study history, politics, and jurisprudence at Princeton and attained his A.M. the following year. He then taught history at Amherst College and finished his Ph.D. at Princeton in 1919. He moved to Harvard Law School, where he completed his law degree in two years....

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Doar, John Michael (3 Dec. 1921–11 Nov. 2014), lawyer and federal official, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to William and Mae Doar. His father was a lawyer and his mother a teacher. He grew up in New Richmond, Wisconsin and attended St. Paul Academy, graduating in ...

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William J. Donovan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109385).

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Donovan, William Joseph (01 January 1883–08 February 1959), lawyer, soldier, and intelligence official, was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Timothy Patrick Donovan, a railroad yardmaster, and Anna Letitia Lennon. After starting college at Niagara University, Donovan transferred to Columbia University from which he received an A.B. in 1905 and an LL.B. in 1907. He joined the law firm of Love and Keating in Buffalo. In 1912 he and Bradley Goodyear formed a partnership that merged with Buffalo’s leading firm, O’Brian and Hamlin, to become O’Brian Hamlin Donovan and Goodyear. Hamlin’s withdrawal led to the firm’s dissolution in 1920. Meanwhile, in 1914, Donovan married socially prominent Ruth Rumsey. They had two children....

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Ewbank, Thomas (11 March 1792–16 September 1870), commissioner of patents, inventor, and historian of technology, was born in Durham, England. Little is known of Ewbank’s parentage or early life. He was apprenticed to a “Tin and Coppersmith, Plumb and Shot Maker” for seven years, and in 1812 he made his way to London, where he joined several literary associations sympathetic to the English liberal reformers of the period. In 1819 Ewbank emigrated to the United States, and in 1826, his wife, Mary, and the first of their six children followed, joining him in New York. There he began his professional career as an inventor and manufacturer of tin and copper tubing, occupying the late ...

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Ewing, Oscar Ross (08 March 1889–08 January 1980), lawyer and government official, was born in Greensburg, Indiana, the son of George McClellan Ewing, a merchant, and Jeanette Ross. Called “Jack” because he disliked Oscar, Ewing came to politics early. While still in high school, he served as secretary of the Decatur County (Ind.) Democratic Committee. Attending Indiana University, he majored in philosophy and was elected president of both his junior and senior classes. He graduated class valedictorian with an A.B. degree in 1910, and that fall he entered Harvard Law School. For spending money he waited tables, and when his father refused to cosign further notes (because Jack had purchased a tuxedo), he stayed in law school with the help of a sympathetic dean who loaned him $250. In tribute, Ewing eventually established at Harvard Law School a $100,000 student loan fund....

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Flagg, Edmund (24 November 1815–01 November 1890), author and civil servant, was born in Wiscasset, Maine, the son of Edmund Flagg and Harriet Payson. He graduated with distinction from Bowdoin College in 1835. Later that year he moved with his widowed mother and sister to Louisville, Kentucky, where he briefly taught the classics in a boys’ school. The following summer, he explored the Illinois and Missouri prairies and published in the ...

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Flint, Weston (04 July 1835–06 April 1906), librarian, attorney, and government official, was born in Pike, Wyoming County, New York, the son of Nicholas Flint and Phebe Burt Willoughby, farmers. He grew up on the family farm in Cattaraugus County, New York, and was educated at the Chamberlain Institute, the Alfred Academy (later Alfred University) in Alfred, New York, and Union College in Schenectady, New York, from which he graduated in 1860....

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Fly, James Lawrence (22 February 1898–06 January 1966), lawyer and New Deal administrator, was born in Seagoville, Texas, the son of Joseph Lawrence Fly, a farmer, and Jane Ard. Fly attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, graduating in 1920. After serving in the Pacific, he married Mildred Marvin Jones in 1923; they had two children. He then went to Harvard Law School, and upon graduation in 1926 he entered private practice. After three years he left to become a special assistant to the attorney general of the United States. During his five years in this position, he represented the United States in antitrust cases and regulatory measures affecting interstate commerce....

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Frank, Jerome New (10 September 1889–13 January 1957), New Dealer, federal appeals judge, and legal philosopher, was born in New York City, the son of Herman Frank, a lawyer, and Clara New, a musician. The grandson of German Jews who immigrated to the United States around 1850, Frank moved with his parents to Chicago at the age of seven. A precocious child, he challenged his kindergarten teacher on such exotic subjects as Greek mythology. He attended Chicago public schools, graduated from Hyde Park High School at the age of sixteen, and then enrolled at the University of Chicago. By attending summer terms Frank graduated in three years. In the fall of 1909 Frank entered law school at the University of Chicago and in 1912 graduated with the highest grades ever achieved at the University of Chicago Law School. With characteristic humility, he shunned interview-seeking reporters. In 1914 he married Florence Kiper, a well-known poet and writer in Chicago literary circles....