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 William Joseph Brennan, Jr

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William Joseph Brennan, Jr

  • Birth 25 Apr 1906 Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
  • Death 24 Jul 1997 Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Section 5, Lot 40 Grid W-36
  • Memorial ID 1861

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. Born in Newark, New Jersey, he was the son of Irish immigrants. Graduating with honors from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1931, he received his law degree from Harvard University where he was at the top of his class. He then returned to New Jersey to set up his practice, but due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he joined the United States Army in early 1942. He was a Major in the Ordnance Department in Washington D.C., serving as a legal aide specializing in labor and industrial problems. He was discharged with the rank of Colonel in 1946, thereby making him the highest ranking military member among all the Supreme Court justices buried in Arlington. After his discharge he returned to his law practice in New Jersey. He later would serve as a trial and appellate judge before being appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1952. Because Justice Sherman Minton retired in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him to the United States Supreme Court even though he was known to favor the views of the Democratic Party. During his tenure on the Court, he supported a broad interpretation of the First Amendment's right to free speech. He also strongly opposed sex discrimination and the death penalty. He retired from the Court on July 20, 1990, due to ill health, and was succeeded on the Court by Justice David H. Souter. He was awarded in 1993, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1861
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Joseph Brennan, Jr (25 Apr 1906–24 Jul 1997), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1861, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .