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Published on: Monday, July 8, 2024 read more ...

Earl Warren

Gravestone of Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969

Section 21, Grave S-32

The son of Scandinavian immigrants, Earl Warren was born in Los Angeles, California in 1891. After receiving both his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, he began his legal career as a clerk for the judiciary committee of the California state assembly. Appointed district attorney of Alameda County in 1925, Warren steadily gained influence in the California Republican Party. He won election as state attorney general in 1938, and as governor of California in 1942. Re-elected twice, Warren served as California's governor from 1943 to 1953, a decade of tremendous growth for the state. He ran for national office twice, but lost both times: in 1942, running on the Republican ticket as Thomas E. Dewey's vice presidential candidate, and in 1952 as a presidential candidate himself. 

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower named Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the United States, a position that he held for 16 years. The "Warren Court" issued major reinterpretations of U.S. constitutional law. Its landmark cases included Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which declared unconstitutional racial segregation in public schools. Justice Warren also led the Warren Commission, which investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He retired in 1969.