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Elliott, Carl A. (20 December 1913–09 January 1999), U.S. congressman, was born Carl Atwood Elliott in Gober Ridge, Franklin County, Alabama, the son of G. W. “Will” Elliott, farmer, and Nora Massey Elliott. The oldest of nine children, he grew up on a hardscrabble tenant farm and became interested in politics at an early age. After attending local public schools, he entered the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa on a shoestring budget in 1930. His first night on campus was spent sleeping under a truck; he then lived in an abandoned building during his first year and a half of college. Despite his lack of means, Elliott managed to support himself by working a variety of odd jobs. His success on campus was marked by his election as class president during his senior year. Upon graduating in 1933, he entered law school at Alabama and received his law degree in 1936....

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Holmes, Oliver Wendell (08 March 1841–06 March 1935), Supreme Court justice and scholar, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Oliver Wendell Holmes, a physician and man of letters, and Amelia Lee Jackson, a leader of Boston society and charitable organizations. The elder Holmes, for whom the future justice was named, was one of the founders of the ...

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Holt, Joseph (06 January 1807–01 August 1894), jurist, secretary of war, and postmaster general, was born near Hardinsburg, Kentucky, the son of John Holt, an attorney, and Eleanor Stephens. Educated at St. Joseph’s College in Bardstown and Centre College in Danville, Holt subsequently read law in Lexington. In 1828 he established a practice in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where he was briefly in partnership with Congressman ...

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Keating, Kenneth Barnard (18 May 1900–05 May 1975), congressman, senator, ambassador, and judge, was born in Lima, New York, the son of Thomas Mosgrove Keating, a local businessman, and Louise Barnard, a schoolteacher. Much of Keating’s early education was at Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in Lima, New York. He then attended the University of Rochester (N.Y.), from which he graduated in 1919, and Harvard Law School, which granted him an LL.B. in 1923. From that date until he entered the U.S. Congress in 1947 Keating was active in the law firm of Harris, Beach, Wilcox and Dale, earning a reputation as an adroit trial lawyer. In 1928 Keating married Louise Depuy; they had one daughter....

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Legaré, Hugh Swinton (02 January 1797–20 June 1843), jurist and attorney general of the United States, was born on John’s Island, South Carolina, the son of Solomon Legaré, a planter, and Mary Splatt Swinton. Legaré’s father died when Legaré was two years old. Fortunately his paternal grandfather, a South Carolina planter of Huguenot heritage, provided Legaré’s mother with the means for his upbringing. Legaré’s life was marked by many medical maladies, the first of which was an injurious childhood smallpox inoculation that not only left him scarred but also led, it seems, to a disproportionate shortness of his limbs. Nevertheless, he was a precocious child and in 1814 graduated first in his class from South Carolina College in Columbia, where he received a thoroughly classical education....

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Story, Joseph (18 September 1779–10 September 1845), U.S. Supreme Court justice, legal scholar, law professor, and congressman, was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the son of Elisha Story, a prominent physician and surgeon, and Mehitable Pedrick, the daughter of a wealthy Loyalist merchant who lost most of his fortune during the Revolution. Story’s father was an early patriot and a member of the Sons of Liberty. He participated in the Boston Tea Party and later served at Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Long Island, White Plains, and Trenton. Growing up in the aftermath of the Revolution, Joseph absorbed from both of his parents republican values, Unitarian theology, a heritage of Puritan idealism, a fierce sense of nationalism, and an unbending dedication to public service....