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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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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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McGranery, James Patrick (08 July 1895–23 December 1962), congressman, federal judge, and U.S. attorney general, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Irish immigrants Patrick McGranery and Bridget Gallagher. McGranery attended Catholic parochial schools in Philadelphia, but he left before completing his secondary education to work as an electrotyper for the Curtis Publishing Co. While there, he became a member of the city’s electrotypers union and carried the union card most of his life. In 1917 he joined the U.S. Army and served in the First World War as a balloon observation pilot and later as an adjutant of the 111th Infantry. After being demobilized in 1919, he returned to Philadelphia and school. He received a law degree from Temple University Law School in 1928 and was subsequently admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. His clientele included police and the firemen’s union....

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Taft, Alphonso (05 November 1810–21 May 1891), judge, U.S. attorney general, and diplomat, was born in Townshend, Vermont, the son of Peter Rawson Taft, a farmer and lawyer, and Sylvia Howard. Taft was educated at county schools until he was sixteen. He then taught high school in order to attend Amherst Academy. He received a bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1833, graduating third in his class, and after several more years of teaching high school he returned to Yale Law School. He received a J.D. in 1838 and was admitted that year to the bar of Connecticut....