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Baldwin, Joseph Glover (21 January 1815–30 September 1864), attorney and author, was born in Friendly Grove Factory, Virginia, the son of Joseph Clarke Baldwin, a mill owner, and Eliza Cook. He was educated at Staunton Academy (Virginia), where he learned Latin and read widely in English and American authors. He left school at fourteen and became a clerk in the chancery court. This experience turned him toward a legal career, and after private study and law school he qualified as a lawyer at twenty. Baldwin also worked for a time as a newspaperman in Virginia and suffered a disappointment in love. In March 1836 he set out for the “Southwest”—specifically Alabama and Mississippi....

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Dana, Richard Henry, Jr. (01 August 1815–06 January 1882), lawyer and author, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Richard Henry Dana, Sr., a poet and journalist, and Ruth Charlotte Smith. After routine earlier schooling, Dana interrupted his attendance at Harvard College because of weakened eyesight aggravated by measles. In August 1834 he sailed from Boston as a common seaman on a five-month voyage around Cape Horn and on to California, where he then worked ashore mainly at collecting, storing, and curing hides. He returned home in September 1836, resumed his studies at Harvard, graduated with the class of 1837, was confirmed in the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul, in Boston, and studied at Dane Law School, Harvard (1837–1840). He was admitted to the bar (1840) and began a lucrative private practice, largely in admiralty law....

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Gardner, Erle Stanley (17 July 1889–11 March 1970), lawyer and popular author, was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Walter Gardner, a civil engineer, and Grace Adelma Waugh. When Gardner was ten, his family moved to Oregon and then to Oroville in northern California. After graduating from high school in Palo Alto, California in 1909, he studied law briefly at Valparaiso University in Indiana. He returned to California to study with local attorneys and was admitted to the California bar in 1911. He practiced criminal law actively for twenty years in Oxnard and Ventura, exercising a flair for courtroom dramatics that he later magnified and assigned to his most famous character, Perry Mason. Gardner married Natalie Frances Beatrice Talbert in 1912. The couple had one child; they separated in 1935, but Gardner did not remarry until after Natalie’s death in 1968, when he married his longtime secretary, Agnes Jean Bethell....

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Higgins, George V. (13 November 1939–06 November 1999), lawyer and writer, was born George Vincent Higgins in Brockton, Massachusetts, the son of John Thompson Higgins and Doris Montgomery Higgins, schoolteachers. Theirs was an Irish Catholic household in a working-class neighborhood. He read Ernest Hemingway...

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Kirkland, Joseph (07 January 1830–28 April 1894), lawyer and author, was born in Geneva, New York, the son of William Kirkland, a one-time professor at Hamilton College, and Caroline Matilda Kirkland, who became a prominent editor and writer (first under a pseudonym and then under her married name). The family moved to the Michigan peninsula to homestead in 1835, though the experiment was a financial failure, and they returned to New York eight years later. Largely educated at home, Joseph Kirkland traveled to Europe in 1847–1848 and clerked briefly in the editorial offices of the original New York ...

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Lewis, Alfred Henry (20 January 1857–23 December 1914), lawyer, journalist, and author, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Isaac Jefferson Lewis, a carpenter, and Harriet Tracy. He attended Cleveland public schools, read for the law, and passed the Ohio bar in Columbus in 1876, placing first among those examined. He practiced law, dabbled in politics, became prosecuting attorney in the Cleveland police court (1880–1881), and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, with his parents and brothers. He turned to cowboy hobo-ing on ranches in Meade County, Kansas, along the Cimarron River and into Oklahoma Territory, driving cattle up to Dodge City, Kansas, and riding in Texas and Arizona. He was a journalist in New Mexico Territory—as the ...

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Lunt, George (31 December 1803–16 May 1885), lawyer and author, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of Abel Lunt, a sea captain, and Phoebe Tilton. As a youth Lunt attended Phillips Academy at Exeter, New Hampshire. Then, having graduated from Harvard College in 1824, the young scholar returned to Newburyport, where he taught school before reading law with a local attorney, Asa W. Wildes. In 1831 Lunt passed the Massachusetts bar and entered private practice. During this period the young lawyer began a lifelong pursuit of belles lettres, publishing several mostly neglected collections of poetry, including ...

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Train, Arthur (06 September 1875–22 December 1945), lawyer and writer, was born Arthur Cheney Train in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Russell Train, a lawyer and politician, and Sara Maria Cheney. After growing up in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire, Train received a B.A. from Harvard in 1896 and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1899. He married Ethel Kissam in 1897; they had four children. After the death of his wife in 1923, he married Helen Coster Gerard in 1926; they had one child....