Biddle, Francis (1886–1968)

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BIDDLE, FRANCIS (1886–1968)

Born to wealth and social position, Francis Biddle of Pennsylvania was graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and became a law clerk to Justice oliver wendell holmes. He entered public service in 1934 as franklin d. roosevelt's chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. He also served as counsel for the congressional investigation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (1938); as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1939–1940); as solicitor general (1940–1941); and as attorney general (1941–1945). Biddle stoutly championed civil liberties and, albeit unsuccessfully, opposed the evacuation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. He also served on the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which tried the major German war criminals (1945–1946). Thereafter, Biddle retired to a life of writing and leisure. His chief books were Fear of Freedom (1951), an assault on McCarthyism; Justice Holmes, Natural Law, and the Supreme Court (1961); and In Brief Authority (1962), a record of his public service.

Henry J. Abraham


Biddle, Francis 1962 In Brief Authority: From the Years with Roosevelt to the Nürenberg Trial. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.