SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Owen J. Roberts, 1930-1945

Justice Owen J. Roberts, 1930-1945
OWEN J. ROBERTS was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, on May 2, 1875. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1895 and received a law degree in 1898. Roberts was named a University Fellow in 1898 and taught in an adjunct capacity at the University of Pennsylvania until 1919. Roberts established a law practice in Philadelphia and served in a number of public offices. In 1901, he was appointed Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia and served until 1904. In 1918, Roberts was appointed a Special Deputy Attorney General of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. From 1924 to 1930, he served as a Special United States Attorney to investigate alleged wrongdoing in the Harding Administration. Roberts briefly returned to private practice in 1930, but on May 9, 1930, President Herbert Hoover nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on May 20, 1930. While on the Court, Roberts oversaw an investigation into the attack on Pearl Harbor and headed a commission that traced art objects seized by the Germans in World War II. Roberts resigned from the Supreme Court on July 31, 1945, after fifteen years of service. He died on May 17, 1955, at the age of eighty.