John Patrick Higgins

John Patrick Higgins (February 19, 1893 – August 2, 1955) was an officer in the United States Navy, chemist, attorney, and U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

John Patrick Higgins
John Patrick Higgins.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1935 – September 30, 1937
Preceded byJohn J. Douglass
Succeeded byThomas A. Flaherty
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1893-02-19)February 19, 1893
Boston, Massachusetts
DiedAugust 2, 1955(1955-08-02) (aged 62)
Boston, Massachusetts
SpouseElinor McNamara
Alma materHarvard University
Boston University Law School
Northeastern College of Law
ProfessionChemist, Attorney, Jurist
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Navy
Years of service1917–1919
Battles/warsWorld War I

Higgins was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the public schools and graduated from Harvard University in 1917. During the First World War, he served as an Ensign in the United States Navy from 1917 until 1919. Returning to civilian life, Higgins was employed as a chemist from 1919 until 1922. He then resumed his academic studies, enrolling in the Boston University Law School and Northeastern College of Law in 1925 and 1926. He was admitted to the bar in 1927 and commenced practice in Boston.

Entering politics, Higgins was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1929 through 1934. He was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-fourth Congress, was unopposed in his re-election to the Seventy-fifth Congress and served from January 3, 1935 until his resignation on September 30, 1937.

Higgins was appointed by Gov. Charles F. Hurley on October 1, 1937 as chief justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court,[1] in which capacity he served until his death in 1955. He was the first Irish Catholic to be chief justice and the youngest person ever appointed to the post.[1] He was a Knight of Columbus.[1]

Appointed in January 1946 by the Justice Department with the approval of President Truman to be the United States judge on the 11 country International Military Tribunal for the Far East at Tokyo, Japan, Judge Higgins resigned in June 1946 to return to his family and his duties as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court.

During his Congressional career, Congressman Higgins advocated for improved working conditions and benefits in America and against religious persecution in Mexico.

Higgins died in Boston and was interred in St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Lapomarda 1992, p. 80.

Works citedEdit

  • Lapomarda, Vincent A. (1992). The Knights of Columbus in Massachusetts (second ed.). Norwood, Massachusetts: Knights of Columbus Massachusetts State Council.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th congressional district

January 3, 1935 – September 30, 1937
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by
Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court
October 1, 1937 – August 2, 1955
Succeeded by
Preceded by
judge of the
International Military Tribunal for the Far East

January 3, 1946 – June 1946
Succeeded by