Thursday, January 26, 2012

Job Security: Oldest Federal Judge Dies, Appointed by President Kennedy

U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown, the oldest sitting federal judge in the nation, died this week at the age 104. He was appointed by President John F. Kennedy and sat on the U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kansas for 50 years, reported Brown took senior status in 1979.

Brown was born in 1907 in Hutchinson, Kansas. He was confirmed in 1962 and served as chief judge of the District of Kansas from 1971 to 1977. He earned his law degree in 1933 from Kansas City School of Law.

With Brown's death, the distinction of being the longest-living sitting federal judge goes to U.S. District Judge Robert Kelleher of the Central District of California in Los Angeles, according to The 98-year-old judge was appointed by Richard Nixon.

Kelleher, who has been on the bench for 42 years, was born in 1913 in New York. He was a 1938 graduate of Harvard Law School. Kelleher took senior status in 1983.

The longest serving federal judge on record was Joseph Woodrough, who sat for 61 years before he died in 1977, according to Woodrough served in the District of Nebraska from 1916 to 1933 and was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson. He was later appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit beginning in 1933.

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