SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Harry A. Blackmun, 1970-1994

Justice Harry A. Blackmun, 1970-1994

HARRY A. BLACKMUN was born in Nashville, Illinois, on November 12, 1908. He spent his early years in the St. Paul area of Minnesota. Blackmun was graduated from Harvard University in 1929 and Harvard Law School in 1932. Blackmun returned to Minnesota and served for one and a half years as a law clerk to Judge John B. Sanborn of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, whom he succeeded on that Court more than twenty-five years later. In 1934, Blackmun entered private practice with a Minneapolis firm and remained there until 1950. During that time he served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School and the St. Paul College of Law. In 1950, Blackmun became in-house counsel to the Mayo Foundation and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Blackmun to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in 1959. President Richard M. Nixon nominated Blackmun to the Supreme Court of the United States on April 14, 1970. The Senate confirmed the appointment on May 12, 1970. Justice Blackmun served on the Supreme Court for twenty-four years and retired on August 3, 1994. He died on March 4, 1999 at the age of ninety.