118 Facts About Earl Warren


Earl Warren was an American attorney, politician, and jurist who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States from 1953 to 1969.


The Warren Court presided over a major shift in American constitutional jurisprudence, which has been recognized by many as a "Constitutional Revolution" in the liberal direction, with Warren writing the majority opinions in landmark cases such as Brown v Board of Education, Reynolds v Sims, Miranda v Arizona, and Loving v Virginia.


Earl Warren served as Governor of California from 1943 to 1953, and is the last chief justice to have served in an elected office before nomination to the Supreme Court.


Earl Warren was born in 1891 in Los Angeles and was raised in Bakersfield, California.


Earl Warren was hired as a deputy district attorney for Alameda County in 1920 and was appointed district attorney in 1925.


Earl Warren emerged as a leader of the state Republican Party and won election as the Attorney General of California in 1938.


Earl Warren served as the 30th Governor of California from 1943 until 1953, presiding over a period of major growth for the state.

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Earl Warren is the only governor of California to be elected for three consecutive terms.


Earl Warren was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 19,1891, to Matt Earl Warren and his wife, Crystal.


Earl Warren was the second of two children, after his older sister, Ethel.


Earl Warren majored in political science and became a member of the La Junta Club, which became the Sigma Phi Society of California while Warren was attending college.


Earl Warren received a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1914.


Earl Warren disliked working at the company and was disgusted by the corruption he saw in San Francisco, so he took a position with the Oakland law firm of Robinson and Robinson.


Still hoping to become an officer, Earl Warren underwent a procedure to remove the hemorrhoids, but by the time he fully recovered from the operation the officer training camp had closed.


Earl Warren enlisted in the United States Army as a private in August 1917, and was assigned to Company I of the 91st Division's 363rd Infantry Regiment at Camp Lewis, Washington.


Earl Warren was made acting first sergeant of the company before being sent to a three-month officer training course.


Earl Warren spent the rest of the war there and was discharged less than a month after Armistice Day, following a promotion to first lieutenant.


Earl Warren remained in the United States Army Reserve until 1934, rising to the rank of captain.


In late 1918, Warren returned to Oakland, where he accepted a position as the legislative assistant to Leon E Gray, a newly-elected member of the California State Assembly.


Shortly after arriving in the state capital of Sacramento, Earl Warren was appointed as the clerk of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.


That same year, Earl Warren made his first foray into electoral politics, serving as the campaign manager for his friend, Republican Assemblyman Frank Anderson.


Earl Warren faced a tough re-election campaign in 1926, as local Republican boss Michael Joseph Kelly sought to unseat him.


Earl Warren rejected political contributions and largely self-funded his campaign, leaving him at a financial disadvantage to Kelly's preferred candidate, Preston Higgins.


Nonetheless, Earl Warren won a landslide victory over Higgins, taking over two-thirds of the vote.


Earl Warren gained a statewide reputation as a tough, no-nonsense district attorney who fought corruption in government and ran his office in a nonpartisan manner.

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Earl Warren strongly supported the autonomy of law enforcement agencies, but believed that police and prosecutors had to act fairly.


Unlike many other local law enforcement officials in the 1920s, Earl Warren vigorously enforced Prohibition.


When one of his own undercover agents admitted that he had perjured himself in order to win convictions in bootleg cases, Earl Warren personally took charge of prosecuting the agent.


Earl Warren's efforts gained him national attention; a 1931 nationwide poll of law enforcement officials found that Earl Warren was "the most intelligent and politically independent district attorney in the United States".


Earl Warren took a hard stance against labor in the buildup to the San Francisco General Strike.


In Whitney v California Warren prosecuted a woman under the California Criminal Syndicalism Act for attending a communist meeting in Oakland.


In 1936, Warren faced one of the most controversial cases of his career after George W Alberts, the chief engineer of a freighter, was found dead.


Earl Warren served as the county chairman for Herbert Hoover's 1932 campaign and, after Franklin D Roosevelt won that election, he attacked Roosevelt's New Deal policies.


In 1934, Earl Warren became chairman of the state Republican Party and he took a leading public role in opposing the gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Upton Sinclair.


Earl Warren earned national notoriety in 1936 for leading a successful campaign to elect a slate of unpledged delegates to the 1936 Republican National Convention; he was motivated largely by his opposition to the influence of Governor Frank Merriam and publisher William Randolph Hearst.


On October 4,1925, shortly after Earl Warren was appointed district attorney, Earl Warren and Nina married.


Earl Warren was the father-in-law of John Charles Daly, the host of the television game show What's My Line through his daughter Virginia's marriage.


Earl Warren was very active after 1919 in such groups as Freemasonry, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Loyal Order of Moose and the American Legion.


Earl Warren rose through the ranks in the Masons, culminating in his election in 1935 as the Grand Master of the Freemasons for the state of California from 1935 to 1936.


Earl Warren took advantage of that amendment and ran in multiple primaries.


Earl Warren faced no serious opposition in the 1938 elections, even while incumbent Republican Governor Frank Merriam was defeated by Democratic nominee Culbert Olson.


Earl Warren, who was a member of the outspoken anti-Asian society Native Sons of the Golden West, successfully sought legislation expanding the land confiscations.


In particular, Earl Warren had claimed that Japanese Americans had willfully infiltrated "every strategic spot" in California coastal and valley counties, had warned of potentially greater danger from American born ethnic Japanese than from first-generation immigrants, and asserted that although there were means to test the loyalty of a "Caucasian" that the same could not be said for ethnic Japanese.


Earl Warren further argued that the complete lack of disloyal acts among Japanese Americans in California to date indicated that they intended to commit such acts in the future.


Later, Earl Warren vigorously protested the return of released internees back into California.

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When during the interview Earl Warren mentioned the faces of the children separated from their parents, he broke down in tears and the interview was temporarily halted.


In 1974, shortly before his death, Earl Warren privately confided to journalist and former internee Morse Saito that he greatly regretted his actions during the evacuation.


Earl Warren frequently clashed with Governor Culbert Olson over various issues, partly because they belonged to different parties.


Earl Warren cross-filed in the Democratic and Republican primaries, ran without a party label, and refused to endorse candidates running for other offices.


Earl Warren modernized the office of governor, and state government generally.


In 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco while Earl Warren was the governor of California.


Earl Warren played an important role in the United Nations Conference on International Organization from April 25 to June 26,1945, which resulted in the United Nations Charter.


Earl Warren built up the state's higher education system based on the University of California and its vast network of small universities and community colleges.


Earl Warren sought the creation of a commission to study employment discrimination, but his plan was blocked by Republicans in the state legislature.


Governor Warren stopped enforcing California's anti-miscegenation law after it was declared unconstitutional in Perez v Sharp.


Earl Warren easily won the Republican primary for governor and, in a much closer vote, defeated Kenny in the Democratic primary.


Earl Warren won the general election by an overwhelming margin, becoming the first Governor of California since Hiram Johnson in 1914 to win a second term.


Earl Warren easily won the Republican primary, but was defeated in the Democratic primary by James Roosevelt.


Earl Warren consistently led Roosevelt in general election polls and won re-election in a landslide, taking 65 percent of the vote.


Earl Warren was the first Governor of California elected to three consecutive terms.


Earl Warren won the California primary with no opposition, but Thomas Dewey clinched the party's presidential nomination by the time of the 1944 Republican National Convention.


Earl Warren delivered the keynote address of the convention, in which he called for a more liberal Republican Party.


Dewey asked Earl Warren to serve as his running mate, but Earl Warren was uninterested in the vice presidency and correctly believed that Dewey would be defeated by President Roosevelt in the 1944 election.


Dewey asked Earl Warren to serve as his running mate, and this time Earl Warren agreed.


Earl Warren campaigned across the country on behalf of the ticket, but was frustrated by his inability to support specific policies.

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Earl Warren ran in three Republican presidential primaries, but won just a handful of delegates outside of his home state.


Nixon resigned from the Senate to become vice president, and Earl Warren appointed Thomas Kuchel to the Senate seat vacated by Nixon.


Earl Warren turned down the position of Secretary of the Interior in the new administration, but in August 1953 he agreed to serve as the Solicitor General.


Earl Warren has been very definitely a liberal-conservative; he represents the kind of political, economic, and social thinking that I believe we need on the Supreme Court.


Earl Warren was the first Scandinavian American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.


When Earl Warren was appointed, all of the other Supreme Court justices had been appointed by Presidents Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman, and most were committed New Deal liberal Democrats.


Earl Warren initially asked the senior associate justice, Hugo Black, to preside over conferences until he became accustomed to the processes of the Court.


However, Earl Warren learned quickly and soon was in fact, as well as in name, the Court's chief justice.


Earl Warren's strength lay in his public gravitas, his leadership skills, and his firm belief that the Constitution guaranteed natural rights and that the Court had a unique role in protecting those rights.


Earl Warren's arguments did not dominate judicial conferences, but Warren excelled at putting together coalitions and cajoling his colleagues in informal meetings.


Earl Warren saw the US Constitution as the embodiment of American values, and he cared deeply about the ethical implications of the Court's rulings.


Earl Warren's opinions were not always clearly written, and his legal logic was often muddled.


Earl Warren sought not only to overturn Plessy but to have a unanimous verdict.


Nonetheless, Earl Warren won over Jackson, Frankfurter, and Clark, in part by allowing states and federal courts the flexibility to pursue desegregation of schools at different speeds.


Earl Warren extensively courted the last holdout, Reed, who finally agreed to join a unanimous verdict because he feared that a dissent would encourage resistance to the Court's holding.


Eisenhower seriously considered retiring after one term and encouraging Earl Warren to run in the 1956 presidential election but ultimately chose to run after he had received a positive medical report after his heart attack.


Earl Warren compromised by agreeing to Frankfurter's demand for the Court to go slowly in implementing desegregation.


Two years later, Warren assigned Brennan to write the Court's opinion in Cooper v Aaron.


That same year, Earl Warren was elected to the American Philosophical Society.


The 1960s marked a major shift in constitutional interpretation, as the Earl Warren Court continued the process of the incorporation of the Bill of Rights in which the provisions of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution were applied to the states.

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The Earl Warren Court saw the incorporation of the remaining provisions of the First Amendment as well as all or part of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.


The Earl Warren Court handed down numerous other important decisions regarding the Bill of Rights, especially in the field of criminal procedure.


Earl Warren became a favored target of right-wing groups, such as the John Birch Society, as well as the 1964 Republican presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater.


In Elkins v United States, Warren joined with the majority in striking down the "Silver Platter Doctrine," a loophole to the exclusionary rule that had allowed federal officials to use evidence that had been illegally gathered by state officials.


Earl Warren incorporated some suggestions from Brennan, but his holding in Miranda was most influenced by his past experiences as a district attorney.


In Peterson v Greenville, Warren wrote the Court's majority opinion, which struck down local ordinances that prohibited restaurants from serving black and white individuals in the same room.


In 1967, Warren wrote the majority opinion in the landmark case of Loving v Virginia in which the Court struck down state laws banning interracial marriage.


Shortly after the assassination of John F Kennedy, the newly-sworn-in president, Lyndon B Johnson, convinced Warren to serve as the head of a bipartisan commission tasked with investigating the assassination.


From December 1963 to October 1964, Earl Warren simultaneously served as chief justice of the United States and chairman of the Earl Warren Commission.


At the start of the investigation, Earl Warren decided to hire the commission's legal staff from outside the government to avoid any improper influence on their work.


Earl Warren was personally involved in several aspects of the investigation.


Earl Warren participated in the investigation of Kennedy's medical treatment and autopsy.


At Robert Kennedy's insistence, Earl Warren handled the unwelcome task of reviewing the autopsy photos alone.


Earl Warren wanted to ensure that Commission members had ample opportunity to evaluate the staff's work and to make their own judgments about important conclusions in the report.


Earl Warren insisted that the report should be unanimous and so he compromised on a number of issues to get all the members to sign the final version.


The Earl Warren Commission was an unhappy experience for the chief justice.


Earl Warren hoped to travel the world with his wife, and he wanted to leave the bench before he suffered a mental decline, something that he perceived in both Hugo Black and William Douglas.


Earl Warren feared that Nixon would win the 1968 presidential election and appoint a conservative successor if Warren left the Court later.


On 13 June 1968, Earl Warren submitted his letter of resignation to President Johnson, effective upon the confirmation of a successor.


In early 1969, Warren learned that Fortas had made a secret lifetime contract for $20,000 a year to provide private legal advice to Louis Wolfson, a friend and financier in deep legal trouble.

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Earl Warren immediately asked Fortas to resign, which he did after some consideration.


Earl Warren advocated for an end to the Vietnam War and the elimination of poverty.


Earl Warren avoided publicly criticizing the Burger Court, but was privately distressed by the Court's increasingly conservative holdings.


Earl Warren closely followed investigations into the Watergate scandal, a major political scandal that stemmed from a break-in of the Democratic National Committee's headquarters and the Nixon administration's subsequent attempts to cover up that break-in.


Relieved, Earl Warren died just a few hours later, safe in the knowledge that the Court he had so loved would force justice on the man who had been his most bitter foe.


Earl Warren had his wife and one of his daughters, Nina Elizabeth Brien, at his bedside when he passed away.


Earl Warren is generally considered to be one of the most influential US Supreme Court justices, as well as political leaders in the history of the United States.


The Earl Warren Court has been recognized by many to have created a liberal "Constitutional Revolution", which embodied a deep belief in equal justice, freedom, democracy, and human rights.


Earl Warren sensed the call of the times-and he rose to the call.


Driver offers a fourth view, arguing that the Warren Court took overly conservative stances in such cases as Powell v Texas and Hoyt v Florida.


Earl Warren was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1981.


In December 2007, Earl Warren was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.


An extensive collection of Earl Warren's papers, including case files from his Supreme Court service, is located at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC Most of the collection is open for research.