Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1947-1951; Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1951-1958.
Bio, Princeton Alumni Weekly
FEDERAL JUDGE Harold R. Medina, the University's oldest alumnus and one of its most distinguished graduates, died on March 14, 1990. A man of enormous energy, humor, and ability, Harold Medina had a love affair with life for 102 years.
Born in Brooklyn in 1888, Judge Medina graduated from Princeton Phi Beta Kappa in 1909 and from Columbia Law School in 1912. Harold then embarked on an extraordinary, multifaceted career, during which he was a successful trial attorney, a member of the Columbia Law School faculty, and the author of many law treatises.
Medina was appointed to the federal bench in 1947 by President Truman. He became a national folk hero in 1949 after presiding over a nine-month trial of 11 Communist leaders charged under the Smith Act with conspiring to overthrow the U.S. by force. He succeeded Learned Hand on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After becoming a Senior judge in 1958, he remained a busy, productive member of his court for another 22 years, until his retirement in 1980 at age 92.
Judge Medina loved Princeton as fiercely as it loved him. He served as a trustee, was a class officer for almost five decades (during most of which he was '09's "permanent president"), and received an honorary degree from the University. The Archivist's Room in Mudd Library is named in his honor.
Harold's beloved Ethel, whom he married in 1911, died in 1971.
Ethel Forde Hillyer Medina
1888–1971 (m. 1911)
Sponsored by Ancestry