JOSEPH RUCKER LAMAR was born in Ruckersville, Georgia, on October 14, 1857. He began his college education at the University of Georgia in 1874 and transferred one year later to Bethany College in West Virginia, where he was graduated in 1877. Lamar studied law at Washington and Lee University and clerked for an Augusta lawyer. He was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1878. Lamar practiced law in Georgia from 1880 to 1910, with a few interruptions for public service. In 1886, he was elected to the Georgia Legislature, where he served two terms, and in 1893 the governor appointed Lamar commissioner to codify Georgia laws. His work on the laws of Georgia was approved in 1895. Lamar was elected to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1903 but resigned in 1905 to return to private practice. President William H. Taft nominated Lamar to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 17, 1910. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 3, 1911. Lamar served on the Supreme Court for five years. He died on January 2, 1916, at the age of fifty-eight.