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John Jordan Crittenden. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-6848).

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Crittenden, John Jordan (10 September 1786–26 July 1863), U.S. senator, U.S. attorney general, and governor of Kentucky, was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, the son of John Crittenden, a landholder, and Judith Harris. His father served with Morgan’s Riflemen and later with General ...

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Garland, Augustus Hill (11 June 1832–26 January 1899), governor, U.S. senator, and attorney general, was born in Covington, Tennessee, the son of Rufus Garland and Barbara Hill, farmers. When he was less than a year old, his family moved to Lost Prairie, Arkansas, on the Red River, where his father opened a store. Shortly after his father’s death in 1833, his mother moved the family to Spring Hill, Arkansas. When she married Judge Thomas Hubbard in 1836, the family settled in Washington, Arkansas. Garland began his education in a private school and later attended St. Mary’s College in Lebanon, Kentucky. He graduated from another Catholic college, St. Joseph’s, in Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1849. Following a year as a rural school teacher in Arkansas, he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1853, joining his stepfather’s firm in Washington, Arkansas. He married Sarah Virginia Sanders in 1853; they had eight children. In 1856 Garland moved to Little Rock to become a law partner with Ebenezer Cummins, who died less than a year later. Thus Garland became the head of a lucrative law office in the state capital. He was admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1860....

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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 ...

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Philander C. Knox Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93379).

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Knox, Philander Chase (06 May 1853–12 October 1921), attorney general, U.S. senator, and secretary of state, was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the son of David S. Knox, a banker, and Rebecca Page. He attended Mount Union College in Ohio and graduated with an A.B. degree in 1872. While in Ohio he became friends with ...

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McGrath, J. Howard (28 November 1903–02 September 1966), U.S. senator and attorney general, was born James Howard McGrath in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the son of James J. McGrath, an Irish immigrant who became a fraternal insurance association executive, and Ida E. May, a bookkeeper. McGrath received a Ph.B. from Providence College in 1926 and an L.L.B. from Boston University in 1929. From 1924 to 1928 he was president of the Rhode Island Young Democrats. In 1929 he married Estelle A. Cadorette; they had one child, a son. In 1930 he was appointed city solicitor by his father-in-law, the mayor of Central Falls, Rhode Island, and from 1930 to 1934 he also chaired the Democratic State Committee. In 1934, thanks to the patronage of Senator ...

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Williams, George Henry (26 March 1823–04 April 1910), attorney general and senator, was born in New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York, the son of Tabor Williams, a farmer and shoemaker, and Lydia Goodrich. Three years after his birth, his family moved to Onondaga County, New York. Williams attended local public schools and Pompey Hill Academy in Onondaga County. He read law under Daniel Gott and was admitted to the bar in 1844. Borrowing money from friends, he relocated that year to Fort Madison, Iowa Territory, where he practiced law and formed a partnership with Daniel F. Miller. Three years later he bought a newspaper, the ...