015_burger.jpg

Warren E. Burger, 1969-1986

WARREN E. BURGER was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 17, 1907. After pre-legal studies at the University of Minnesota in high classes, he earned a law degree in 1931 from the St. Paul College of Law (now William Mitchell College of Law) by attending four years of night classes while working in the accounting department of a life insurance company. He was appointed to the faculty of his law school upon graduation and remained on the adjunct faculty until 1946. Burger practiced with a St. Paul law firm from 1931 to 1953. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Burger Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Chief of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. In 1955, President Eisenhower appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where he served until 1969. President Richard M. Nixon nominated Burger Chief Justice of the United States on May 22, 1969. The Senate confirmed the appointment on June 9, 1969, and he took office on June 23, 1969. In July 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Burger Chairman of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. As Chief Justice he served as Chairman of the Judicial Conference of the United States and as Chairman of the Federal Judicial Center from 1969 to 1986. Burger retired from the Court on September 26, 1986, after seventeen years of service, and continued to direct the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution from 1986 to 1992.

Return to the Timeline of the Justices