Biddle, Francis Beverly

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Francis Beverly Biddle achieved prominence as a jurist.

Biddle was born May 9, 1886, in Paris, France. He was a graduate of Harvard, class of 1909, and earned a bachelor of laws degree from his alma mater in 1911. From 1911 to 1912, he was private secretary to oliver wendell holmes jr., an eminent U.S. Supreme Court justice.

In 1912, Biddle was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar and from 1915 to 1939, practiced with

two successful Philadelphia law firms—Biddle, Paul and Jayne, and Barnes, Biddle and Myers—specializing in corporation law.

Biddle served as special assistant U.S. attorney from 1922 to 1926 and as chairman of the national labor relations board from 1934 to 1935. In 1939, he presided for one year as a justice of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"To blame the public is but the excuse of those who have been unable to influence the public."
—Francis Biddle

Biddle was solicitor general of the United States in 1940, and the following year he became U.S. attorney general for a three-year period. From 1945 to 1946, he presided as a U.S. judge at the nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals.

He died October 4, 1968, in Hyannis, Massachusetts.


Nuremberg Trials.