SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

William J. Brennan, Jr., 1956-1990

Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., 1956-1990
WILLIAM J. BRENNAN, JR., was born on April 25, 1906, in Newark, New Jersey. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1928 and received a law degree from Harvard University in 1931. After admission to the bar in 1932, Brennan joined a law firm and practiced until he began his military service in the Army with the outbreak of World War II as a member of the staff of the Under Secretary of War. When the War ended in 1945, he returned to Newark and resumed his law practice. In 1949, Governor Alfred E. Driscoll appointed Brennan to the newly created New Jersey Superior Court. The following year he was elevated to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court and two years later to the State Supreme Court. On October 16, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave Brennan a recess appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Three months later, on January 14, 1957, Brennan was formally nominated to the Court, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on March 19, 1957. After thirty-four years of service, Brennan retired from the Supreme Court on July 20, 1990. He died on July 24, 1997 at the age of ninety-one.