James Montgomery Beck


James Montgomery Beck Famous memorial

Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 12 Apr 1936 (aged 74)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Plot Section: K, Lot: 220, Grave: 1
Memorial ID 21044835 View Source

US Congressman. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Margaretta C. (née Darling) and James Nathan Beck. He graduated from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1880. He was employed as clerk for a railway company in 1880 and studied law at night, James was admitted to the bar in 1884 and commenced practice in Philadelphia. He was admitted to the bar of New York City in 1903, and to the bar of England in 1922. James served as assistant United States attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania from 1888 to 1892 and as United States attorney from 1896 to 1900. In 1898, he ran for District Attorney of Philadelphia, but lost to P. Frederick Rothermel. He was appointed by President William McKinley as assistant to the Attorney General of the United States in 1900 and served until his resignation in 1903. He returned to the full-time practice of law, joining the firm of Shearman & Sterling in New York City. In 1917, he left that firm to become senior partner in Beck, Crawford & Harris, and retired from active practice in 1927 to run for Congress from Philadelphia. At the outbreak of World War I, he took a strong stand against Germany and wrote much and delivered many addresses to show Germany's responsibility. James was elected a bencher of Gray’s Inn in 1914, being the first foreigner in 600 years to receive that distinction; he also received decorations from France and Belgium and authored several books and articles on the First World War and on the Constitution of the United States. Among his works were The Evidence in the Case in 1914 and War and Humanity in 1916. James was appointed by President Warren G. Harding as Solicitor General of the United States in 1921 and served until his resignation in 1925. He then resumed the practice of law and was elected as a Republican to the Seventieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James M. Hazlett; James was reelected to the Seventy-first, Seventy-second, and Seventy-third Congresses and served from November, 1927, until his resignation in September, 1934. He and his wife Lilla Mitchell had two children a son James Beck Jr. and a daughter Beatrice Beck Tuck. He died at the age of 74.

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