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William Francis Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Francis Smith
Judge William F. Smith.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
In office
August 30, 1961 – February 26, 1968
Appointed byJohn F. Kennedy
Preceded byPhillip Forman
Succeeded byJames Hunter III
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
In office
Preceded byPhillip Forman
Succeeded byThomas M. Madden
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
In office
February 15, 1941 – September 12, 1961
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded bySeat established by 54 Stat. 219
Succeeded byRobert Shaw
Personal details
William Francis Smith

(1903-02-04)February 4, 1903
Perth Amboy, New Jersey
DiedFebruary 26, 1968(1968-02-26) (aged 65)
New Brunswick, New Jersey
EducationColumbia University (PhG)
New Jersey Law School (LLB)

William Francis Smith (February 24, 1903 – February 26, 1968) was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and previously was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Education and career

Born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the son of John Stephan Smith and Ann Elizabeth Owens,[1][2] Smith received a Graduate of Pharmacy degree from Columbia University in 1922. He received a Bachelor of Laws from New Jersey Law School (now Rutgers Law School) in 1929. He became deputy mayor of Perth Amboy in 1926. He was in private practice of law in New Jersey from 1930 to 1931. He was an Instructor at New Jersey Law School from 1930 to 1935. He was an Assistant United States Attorney of the District of New Jersey from 1934 to 1940. He was the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1940 to 1941.[3][4]

Federal judicial service

Smith was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 23, 1941, to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, to a new seat created by 54 Stat. 219. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 1941, and received his commission on February 15, 1941. He served as Chief Judge from 1959 to 1961. His service was terminated on September 12, 1961, due to elevation to the Third Circuit.[4]

Smith was nominated by President John F. Kennedy on August 15, 1961, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated by Judge Phillip Forman. He was confirmed by the Senate on August 30, 1961, and received his commission the same day. His service was terminated on February 26, 1968, due to his death at Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[4][2]

Federal court service

Smith was believed to have been the youngest federal court judge at the time of his appointment. In 1959 he was called upon by Chief Justice Earl Warren to clear up a logjam that had developed at the Brooklyn Federal Court of the Eastern District of New York, and he brought the court's docket up to date in six months.[2]


On August 29, 1935, he married Marie Cathers.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b "William Francis Smith". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  2. ^ a b c "William F. Smith, U.S. Judge, Dead". The New York Times. 1968-02-27. p. 43. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  3. ^ U.S. Attorney's Office District of New Jersey, A Rich History of Service Archived 2008-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d "Smith, William Francis - Federal Judicial Center".

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 54 Stat. 219
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Robert Shaw
Preceded by
Phillip Forman
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Thomas M. Madden
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Succeeded by
James Hunter III
This page was last edited on 12 March 2021, at 07:03
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