Owen Josephus Roberts

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Owen Josephus Roberts (May 2, 1875May 17, 1955) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court for fifteen years. He also led the fact-finding commission that investigated the attack on Pearl Harbor.

He was born in Philadelphia and attended the Germantown Academy and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was awarded a law degree in 1895.

He first gained notice as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia. He was appointed by President Harding to investigate oil reserve scandals, known as Teapot Dome Scandals. This led to the prosecution and conviction of Albert B. Fall, the former Secretary of the Interior, for bribe taking.

He was appointed to the Supreme Court by Herbert Hoover after Hoover's nomination of John L. Parker was defeated by the Senate. For several years, Roberts was the only Justice on the Supreme Court not to be appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

He retired from the Court in 1948. He later served as the Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

He died at his Pennsylvania farm after a four month illness. He was survived by his wife, Elizabeth Caldwell Rogers, and daughter, Elizabeth Hamilton.

His name was adopted as the name of a school district in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.


Preceded by:
Edward Terry Sanford
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
June 2, 1930July 31, 1945
Succeeded by:
Harold Hitz Burton

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References

  • Owen Roberts Dies; Former Justice, 80, New York Times, May 18, 1955.
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