Richard S. Whaley

Richard Smith Whaley (July 15, 1874 – November 8, 1951) was a United States Representative from South Carolina and Chief Justice of the Court of Claims.

Richard S. Whaley
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Claims
In office
July 9, 1947 – November 8, 1951
Chief Justice of the Court of Claims
In office
June 27, 1939 – July 9, 1947
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byFenton Whitlock Booth
Succeeded byJohn Marvin Jones
Judge of the Court of Claims
In office
June 2, 1930 – June 27, 1939
Appointed byHerbert Hoover
Preceded bySamuel Jordan Graham
Succeeded bySamuel Estill Whitaker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st district
In office
April 29, 1913 – March 3, 1921
Preceded byGeorge Swinton Legaré
Succeeded byW. Turner Logan
37th Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 1907 – February 19, 1910
GovernorDuncan Clinch Heyward
Martin Frederick Ansel
Preceded byMendel Lafayette Smith
Succeeded byMendel Lafayette Smith
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Charleston County
In office
February 14, 1913 – April 29, 1913
In office
January 8, 1901 – February 19, 1910
Personal details
Richard Smith Whaley

(1874-07-15)July 15, 1874
Charleston, South Carolina
DiedNovember 8, 1951(1951-11-08) (aged 77)
Charleston, South Carolina
Resting placeMagnolia Cemetery
Charleston, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Virginia School of Law (LL.B.)

Education and careerEdit

Born on July 15, 1874, in Charleston, South Carolina, Whaley attended the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He received a Bachelor of Laws in 1897 from the University of Virginia School of Law. He was admitted to the bar and entered private practice in Charleston from 1897 to 1913. He was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1900 to 1913, serving as Speaker from 1907 to 1910 and as Speaker Pro Tempore in 1913.[1][2]

Football coachEdit

In 1896, Whaley served as the first head coach of the University of South Carolina football team.[3] During his one season with the Gamecocks, he compiled an overall record of one win and three losses (1–3).[4]

Congressional serviceEdit

Whaley was presiding officer of the South Carolina Democratic state convention in 1910 and of the Democratic city convention in 1911. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1912 and 1920. He was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives of the 63rd United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative George Swinton Legaré. He reelected to the 64th, 65th and 66th United States Congresses and served from April 29, 1913, to March 3, 1921. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1920.[1]

Later careerEdit

Whaley returned to private practice in Charleston from 1921 to 1923. He was Chairman of the District of Columbia Rent Commission from 1923 to 1925.[2]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Whaley was a Trial Judge of the Court of Claims from 1925 to 1930.[2]

Whaley was nominated by President Herbert Hoover on May 23, 1930, to a Judge seat on the Court of Claims vacated by Judge Samuel Jordan Graham. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 2, 1930, and received his commission the same day. His service terminated on June 27, 1939, due to his elevation to Chief Justice of the same court.[2]

Whaley was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 23, 1939, to the Chief Justice seat on the Court of Claims (United States Court of Claims from June 25, 1948) vacated by Chief Justice Fenton W. Booth. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 26, 1939, and received his commission on June 27, 1939. He assumed senior status on July 9, 1947. His service terminated on November 8, 1951, due to his death in Charleston.[2] He was interred in Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston.[1]


  1. ^ a b c United States Congress. "Richard S. Whaley (id: W000319)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Whaley, Richard Smith - Federal Judicial Center".
  3. ^ "Richard Smith Whaley: Memory Hold The Door". University of South Carolina School of Law. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  4. ^ DeLassus, David. "W.H. "Dixie" Whaley Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved August 7, 2012.


  • The United States Court of Claims : a history / pt. 1. The judges, 1855-1976 / by Marion T. Bennett / pt. 2. Origin, development, jurisdiction, 1855-1978 / W. Cowen, P. Nichols, M.T. Bennett. Washington, D.C.: Committee on the Bicentennial of Independence and the Constitution of the Judicial Conference of the United States. 1976.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Swinton Legaré
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
W. Turner Logan
Legal offices
Preceded by
Samuel Jordan Graham
Judge of the Court of Claims
Succeeded by
Samuel Estill Whitaker
Preceded by
Fenton Whitlock Booth
Chief Justice of the Court of Claims
Succeeded by
John Marvin Jones