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Robert Witherspoon Hemphill (May 10, 1915 – December 25, 1983) was a United States Representative from South Carolina and later was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Robert W. Hemphill
Robert Hemphill portrait.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
In office
May 10, 1980 – December 25, 1983
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
In office
1979–1980
Preceded byJames Robert Martin Jr.
Succeeded byCharles Earl Simons Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
In office
November 1, 1965 – May 10, 1980
Appointed byoperation of law
Preceded bySeat established by 79 Stat. 951
Succeeded byWilliam Walter Wilkins
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina
In office
1964–1965
Preceded byGeorge Bell Timmerman Sr.
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina
In office
April 30, 1964 – November 1, 1965
Appointed byLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byGeorge Bell Timmerman Sr.
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1957 – May 1, 1964
Preceded byJames P. Richards
Succeeded byThomas S. Gettys
Personal details
Born
Robert Witherspoon Hemphill

(1915-05-10)May 10, 1915
Chester, South Carolina
DiedDecember 25, 1983(1983-12-25) (aged 68)
Chester, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of South Carolina (A.B.)
University of South Carolina School of Law (LL.B.)

Education and careerEdit

Born on May 10, 1915, in Chester, South Carolina, Hemphill attended the public schools. He graduated with an Artium Baccalaureus degree from the University of South Carolina in 1936 and with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1938. At the university, Hemphill was a member of the Euphradian Society.[1] He was admitted to the bar in 1938 and commenced the practice of law in Chester until 1964. Hemphill volunteered in 1941 as a flying cadet in the United States Army Air Corps and served as a bomber pilot until December 1945. After returning from the war, he served as chairman of Chester County Democratic conventions in 1946 and 1947. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1946, serving from 1947 to 1948. He served as solicitor of the Sixth South Carolina Judicial Circuit from 1950 to 1956.[2]

Congressional serviceEdit

Hemphill was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fifth and to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1957, until his resignation May 1, 1964, to take a federal judicial post. During his Congressional service, he was a delegate to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Congress in London in 1959.[3]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Hemphill was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 15, 1964, to a joint seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina and the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina vacated by Judge George Bell Timmerman Sr. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 30, 1964, and received his commission on April 30, 1964. He served as Chief Judge of the Eastern District from 1964 to 1965. On November 1, 1965, the Eastern and Western Districts were recombined into a single United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. On that day, Hemphill was reassigned by operation of law to a new seat authorized by 79 Stat. 951. He served as Chief Judge from 1979 to 1980. He assumed senior status on May 10, 1980.[2] His service terminated on December 25, 1983, due to his death in Chester. He was interred in Hopewell Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Chester.[3]

PersonalEdit

Hemphill was the great-great-nephew of Senator John Hemphill, great-nephew of John J. Hemphill, great-nephew of William Huggins Brawley, and great-great-grandson of Robert Witherspoon.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Walker, Wesley, ed. (1935). Garnet and Black (PDF). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina. p. 187.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b Robert Witherspoon Hemphill at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ a b c United States Congress. "Robert W. Hemphill (id: H000471)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

SourcesEdit