SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Abe Fortas, 1965-1969

Justice Abe Fortas, 1965-1969

ABE FORTAS was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 19, 1910. He was graduated from Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) in 1930 and from Yale University Law School in 1933. After graduation, Fortas taught law at Yale for one year. From 1934 to 1939, he held a series of positions in the newly created Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1939 he became General Counsel to the Public Works Administration. In 1941, Fortas was appointed director of the division of power in the Department of the Interior, and one year later was named Under Secretary. Following World War II, Fortas and two associates established a law partnership in Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate law. After two decades of private practice, Fortas was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the Supreme Court of the United States on July 28, 1965. The Senate confirmed the appointment on August 11, 1965. Fortas served on the Supreme Court for three years. He resigned on May 14, 1969, and returned to private practice. He died on April 5, 1982, at the age of seventy-one.