Frank Murphy

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William Francis (Frank) Murphy (April 13, 1890 - July 19, 1949) was a politician and jurist from Michigan. He served as List of mayors of Detroit, Michigan|Mayor of Detroit, Governor of Michigan, the last Governor-General of the Philippines and the first High Commissioner of the Philippines, United States Attorney General, and United States Supreme Court Justice.

He was born in Harbor Beach, Michigan. He had two brothers and a sister. His father was a lawyer, and Frank followed in his footsteps. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a BA in 1912, and LLB in 1914. He did graduate work in law at Lincoln's Inn in London and Trinity College, Dublin.

He served as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War I. He obtained the rank of Captain with the Occupation Army in Germany and left the service in 1919.

After leaving the Army, he opened a private law office in Detroit. He soon became the chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. He served as a Judge in the Detroit Recorder's Court from 1923 to 1930. He was presiding judge in the Dr. Ossian Sweet murder trial in 1925 - 1926.

In 1930 he was elected mayor of Detroit, running as a United States Democratic Party|Democrat, and served from 1930 to 1933. He was a supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Roosevelt repaid him by appointing him as the Governor-General of the Philippines in 1933. When this position was abolished in 1935, he stayed on as the United States High Commissioner until 1936.

He became Governor of Michigan in 1937. President Roosevelt appointed Murphy as his Attorney General in 1939. In 1940, Roosevelt nominated him to be an List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States|Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. On the Court, Murphy was a voice for protection of individual rights. John P. Frank, in "The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions" (Leon Friedman and Fred L. Israel, editors), called him the Supreme Court's "most consistent voice for kindness, tolerance and humanity." Among Murphy's most famous dissents is that in the case of Korematsu v. United States (1944), in which he charged that by upholding the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II the Court was sinking into "the ugly abyss of racism."

He died of a heart attack in his sleep at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He is buried at Our Lady of Lake Huron Cemetery in Harbor Beach, Michigan. Over 10,000 people attended his funeral in Detroit. The Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, named for him, was formerly home to Detroit's Recorder's Court and now houses part of Michigan's Third Judicial Circuit Court.

In January 1935, a Philippine military camp which would later serve as the headquarters of the country's armed forces was named after him. It is now called Camp Aguinaldo after the Philippines' first president.

Murphy's personal and official files are archived at the Bentley Historical Library of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan|Ann Arbor and are open for research.



Preceded by
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
Governor-General of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Preceded by
High Commissioner of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Paul V. McNutt
Preceded by
Frank Fitzgerald
Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by
Frank Fitzgerald
Preceded by
Homer S. Cummings
Attorney General of the United States
Succeeded by
Robert H. Jackson
Preceded by
Pierce Butler
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
February 5, 1940July 19, 1949
Succeeded by
Tom C. Clark

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 Category:1890 births
 Category:1949 deaths
 Category:American military personnel of World War I
 Category:Governors of Michigan
 Category:Irish-American politicians
 Category:Mayors of Detroit
 Category:United States Army officers
 Category:United States Supreme Court justices
 Category:United States Attorneys General

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