Frederick Moore Vinson
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 1946-d. 1953. Associate Justice, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 1937-1943. Judge, Emergency Court of Appeals, 1942-1943.
Frederick Moore Vinson served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1946 to 1953. Previously, he was an associate justice for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (later re-organized into the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit) from 1937 to 1943. Vinson was born on January 22, 1890 in Louisa, Kentucky. He attended Centre College in Danville, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1909 and a law degree from the College of Law of Central University in 1911. Vinson practiced law in Louisa from 1911 to 1938, while serving multiple terms in the United States House of Representatives. On November 26, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated him to serve as an associate justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Two weeks later, the Senate confirmed him to the Court. While on the DC Court of Appeals, Vinson also served as an associate justice on the Emergency Court of Appeals from 1942 to 1943, including as chief judge. In 1943, he resigned from judicial service for a series of positions in the Roosevelt Administration: Director of the Office of Economic Stabilization, 1943-1945; Administrator for the Federal Loan Administration, 1945; Director of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, 1945; and Secretary of the Treasury, 1945-1946. On June 6, 1946, President Harry S. Truman nominated Vinson to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court, to a seat vacated by Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone. The Senate confirmed his nomination on June 20, 1946. Vinson served as Chief Justice until his death on September 8, 1953.
For more information on Chief Justice Vinson, see the exhibit Before Brown v. Board of Education.
Image from the Frederick Moore Vinson papers, University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center.
Frederick Moore Vinson papers, University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center.
Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.