Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1959-1981)

Gravestone of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

Potter Stewart came from an influential Ohio Republican political family and graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School. He briefly worked for a Wall Street law firm before entering the U.S. Navy Reserve during World War II, serving aboard oil tankers and acting as defense counsel in court martial proceedings. After the war, he practiced with a prominent law firm in Cincinnati. Entering politics in 1949, he served as a member of the Cincinnati City Council from 1950 to 1953, and was elected as the city's vice mayor in 1952. From 1954 to 1958, Stewart served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, having been appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

President Eisenhower nominated Stewart for the Supreme Court in an October 1958 recess appointment. During his 22 years on an ideologically divided court, Stewart was a centrist who acted as an important swing vote in such landmark cases as Roe v. Wade (1973), which guaranteed a woman's right to have an abortion, and Gregg v. Georgia (1976), which restored capital punishment in the United States. 

Stewart retired in 1981 at only 66 years old, in order to spend more time with his children and grandchildren. He continued to serve on various courts of appeals and national commissions, including the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America and the President's Commission on Organized Crime, until his death on December 7, 1985. He is interred with his wife in Section 5, Grave 40-2.