Robert H. Jackson Biography


Birthday: February 13, 1892 (Aquarius)

Born In: Spring Creek Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania

Robert H. Jackson was an American attorney and judge. He was the associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Previously, he had also been the United States solicitor general and the United States attorney general. He is the only person to have held all three positions. He is also known for his work at the Nuremberg Trials of the Second World War’s Nazi war criminals as the Chief US Prosecutor. Born in Pennsylvania, he was very brilliant from an early age, and had pleaded his first case when he was still a minor, by a special permission. At just the age of 21, he had become a member of the bar. He eventually became a corporation counsel for Jamestown, New York. After the stock market crash of 1929, he helped the three financial institutions of the city to merge, and became a director of the new unified unit. A strong supporter of former US President Roosevelt, he was also active during his presidential campaign. Later, he was made assistant general counsel of the Bureau of Internal Revenue of the US Treasury. He also served as the US solicitor general and eventually the US attorney general over the course of his career. In July 1941, he was made the associate justice of the US Supreme Court. He passed away in 1954, at the age of 62.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Robert Houghwout Jackson

Died At Age: 62


Spouse/Ex-: Irene Alice Gerhardt (m. 1916)

father: William Eldred Jackson

mother: Angelina Houghwout

children: Mary Margaret, William Eldred Jackson

Born Country: United States

Chief Justices American Men

political ideology: Democratic Party

Died on: October 9, 1954

place of death: Washington, D.C., United States

Cause of Death: Myocardial Infarction

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

Ideology: Democrats

More Facts

education: Jamestown High School, Albany Law School

Childhood & Early Life
Robert H. Jackson was born on 13th February 1892, in Spring Creek Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania, in US. His father’s name was William Eldred Jackson and his mother’s was Angelina Houghwout.
He studied at Frewsburg High School and graduated in 1909. He also attended Jamestown High School where he worked on his writing skills.
Jackson eventually decided to pursue a career in the legal field. From 1911, he started attending Albany Law School of Union University.
He also studied law in a firm in which his uncle, Frank Mott, an attorney, worked as a partner. His uncle introduced Jackson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who at the time was a member of the New York State Senate.
Students of that time had the option to take individual courses without getting their degree or complete a two-year program and receive the LLB degree. They could also show that they possessed the knowledge which a first-year student required, and then take the second year of the program, thereby completing the course. Jackson chose the third option and completed the course successfully. In 1912, he received his certificate.
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In 1913, when Robert H. Jackson was 21, he passed the bar examination and started his law practice. He was recruited to work in a leading firm in Buffalo. Over the next years, he was quite successful in his career and became a leading lawyer in the state of New York. He was elected for membership in the American Law Institute in 1930.
He was active in politics as a Democrat since 1916. In 1932, he got involved in Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential campaign. He served as the chairman of an organization which was named Democratic Lawyers for Roosevelt.
After Roosevelt was elected as the president of US, Robert H. Jackson was made general counsel to the Internal Revenue Bureau. During this time, he became known for successfully prosecuting financier Andrew Mellon, who had been evading income tax. Later, he was made a special counsel to the Treasury and Securities and Exchange Commission.
He was made the United States solicitor general in March 1938. He served in this post until January 1940. He argued 44 cases on behalf of the government during this time, losing just six of them. Due to his performance in his post, Louis Brandeis remarked that Jackson should be made the solicitor general for life.
In 1940, he replaced Frank Murphy as the new attorney general of the United States. Shortly after, he supported a bill that would legalize wiretapping by the FBI or any government agency, if they suspected anyone of being involved in a crime or illegal activities. However, the bill could not be passed.
During this time, he also helped the president organize the Lend-Lease agreement. This bill allowed US to help the other Allied forces during the Second World War by supplying them with war materials.
Harlan Fiske Stone became the new chief justice in 1941, by replacing the retiring Charles Evans Hughes. The associate justice’s seat became vacant, and Roosevelt decided to appoint Jackson. On 7th July 1941, Robert H. Jackson became the 82nd associate justice of the Supreme Court.
In this position, he became known for his unique writing style. He was a champion for individual liberties and helped overturn a public school regulation that made it compulsory to salute the US flag and also imposed punishment for those who didn’t comply. He also strongly advocated for separation of the church and the state.
In 1945, he was appointed the US chief of counsel for the prosecution of the war criminals of Nazi Germany. He helped create the legal basis for the Nuremberg Trials, by drafting the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal.
For some time, he also served in Nuremberg, Germany, as the United States chief prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal.
Family & Personal Life
Robert H. Jackson married Irene Gerhardt in 1916. They couple had one child.
He passed away on 9th October 1954, due to myocardial infarction, at the age of 62.

See the events in life of Robert H. Jackson in Chronological Order

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