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James Earl Major (January 5, 1887 – January 4, 1972) was a United States Representative from Illinois, a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

James Earl Major
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In office
March 23, 1956 – January 4, 1972
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In office
1948–1954
Preceded byWilliam Morris Sparks
Succeeded byF. Ryan Duffy
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In office
March 23, 1937 – March 23, 1956
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byLouis FitzHenry
Succeeded byJohn Simpson Hastings
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
In office
June 12, 1933 – April 5, 1937
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byLouis FitzHenry
Succeeded byJ. Leroy Adair
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st district
In office
March 4, 1931 – October 6, 1933
Preceded byFrank M. Ramey
Succeeded byHarry H. Mason
In office
March 4, 1927 – March 3, 1929
Preceded byLoren E. Wheeler
Succeeded byFrank M. Ramey
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1925
Preceded byLoren E. Wheeler
Succeeded byLoren E. Wheeler
Personal details
Born
James Earl Major

(1887-01-05)January 5, 1887
Donnellson, Illinois
DiedJanuary 4, 1972(1972-01-04) (aged 84)
Hillsboro, Illinois
Resting placeOak Grove Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceHillsboro, Illinois
EducationIllinois College of Law
read law

Education and careerEdit

Born in Donnellson, Illinois, Major attended the common and high schools of his native city. He graduated from Brown's Business College in 1907 and from the Illinois College of Law (now DePaul University College of Law) at Chicago in 1909. He was admitted to the bar in 1910 and commenced the practice of law in Hillsboro, Illinois in 1912. He served as prosecuting attorney of Montgomery County, Illinois from 1912 to 1920.[1][2]

Congressional serviceEdit

Major was elected as a Democrat to the 68th United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1923 to March 3, 1925. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1924 to the 69th Congress. He resumed the practice law in Hillsboro until he was elected to the 70th Congress, serving from March 4, 1927 to March 3, 1929. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1928 to the 71st Congress, but was elected to the 72nd and 73rd Congresses and served from March 4, 1931, until his resignation on October 6, 1933, having been appointed to the bench. During his final term, he was one of the managers appointed by the United States House of Representatives in 1933 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Harold Louderback, Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.[1]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Major received a recess appointment from President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 12, 1933, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois vacated by Judge Louis FitzHenry. He was nominated to the same position by President Roosevelt on January 8, 1934. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 23, 1934, and received his commission on January 26, 1934. His service terminated on April 5, 1937, due to his elevation to the Seventh Circuit.[2]

Major was nominated by President Roosevelt on March 9, 1937, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated by Judge Louis FitzHenry. He was confirmed by the Senate on March 17, 1937, and received his commission on March 23, 1937. He served as Chief Judge from 1948 to 1954 and served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 1949 to 1954. He assumed senior status on March 23, 1956. His service terminated on January 4, 1972, due to his death in Hillsboro where he had resided.[2][1] He was interred in Oak Grove Cemetery.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d United States Congress. "James Earl Major (id: M000073)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ a b c James Earl Major at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Loren E. Wheeler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st congressional district

1923–1925
Succeeded by
Loren E. Wheeler
Preceded by
Loren E. Wheeler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st congressional district

1927–1929
Succeeded by
Frank M. Ramey
Preceded by
Frank M. Ramey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st congressional district

1931–1933
Succeeded by
Harry H. Mason
Legal offices
Preceded by
Louis FitzHenry
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
1933–1937
Succeeded by
J. Leroy Adair
Preceded by
Louis FitzHenry
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
1937–1956
Succeeded by
John Simpson Hastings
Preceded by
William Morris Sparks
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
1948–1954
Succeeded by
F. Ryan Duffy