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Charles E. Whittaker

U.S. Supreme Court Justice. 1901-1973

The only native Kansan to be named to the U.S. Supreme Court, Whittaker was raised around Troy.  He quit school at 16 when his mother died.  Four years later he was accepted into the Kansas City University Law School, where Harry Truman was a classmate.  This was when a college degree was not always necessary to be admitted to law school.

Whittaker finished high school while he attended law school and worked for a local law firm while attending school. On graduation he began working as a lawyer for the firm and became a successful trial lawyer.  He was appointed to the U.S. District (trial) Court in 1954 and then the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1956.  Whittaker was appointed to the U. S. Supreme Court by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957, but resigned in 1962 due to ill health.

Entry: Whittaker, Charles E.

Author: G. Joseph Pierron

Author information: Judge Pierron serves on the Kansas Court of Appeals and has an interest in Kansas history.

Date Created: March 2012

Date Modified: July 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.