William French Smith

William French Smith

Wilton, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 29 Oct 1990 (aged 73)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Garden of Honor
Memorial ID 4084 · View Source
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US Presidential Cabinet Secretary. He served as the 74th United States Attorney General during the Administration of President Ronald Reagan from 1981 until 1985. Born into a long established New England family, he was raised in Boston. A fondness for California led him to enroll at the University of California, at Berkeley, but he later returned to Boston and attained his law degree from Harvard. During World War II, he served with the United States Naval Reserve and attained the rank of lieutenant. Following the war, he joined the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and later became senior partner. During the election for California governor in 1966, Smith met Ronald Reagan and following Reagan’s election to the governorship, Smith became a part of the “Kitchen Cabinet” of advisors. During his tenure as attorney general, he drew harsh criticism for his failure to protect matters in regards to Civil Rights, notably school segregation issues. Additionally, he earned a reputation for defending “big business”. However, Smith is widely credited for paving the way for Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female judge to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He died from cancer.

Bio by: C.S.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Nov 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 4084
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William French Smith (26 Aug 1917–29 Oct 1990), Find a Grave Memorial no. 4084, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .