Home People Earl Warren – Career, Supreme Court Rulings & Legacy

Earl Warren – Career, Supreme Court Rulings & Legacy


Setting the course for civil rights and liberties in the 1950s and ’60s, Earl Warren, the 14th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, dedicated half a century to serving in public office. The former Republican politician and California’s only three-term governor, was appointed to the court by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. At the time, the president noted Warren represented “the kind of political, economic, and social thinking that I believe we need on the Supreme Court.” However, following Warren’s landmark rulings on cases such as the landmark Brown v. Board of Education that banned school segregation, Eisenhower would come to call the appointment “the biggest damned-fool mistake I ever made.”

Early Life and Career

Born March 19, 1891, in Los Angeles to working-class Scandinavian immigrants (his father worked for Southern Pacific Railroad), Warren grew up in Bakersfield, California, working summer jobs in railroading. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees, and began practicing private law in San Francisco.

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