Open main menu

William Huntington Kirkpatrick

  (Redirected from William H. Kirkpatrick)

William Huntington Kirkpatrick (October 2, 1885 – November 28, 1970) was a United States Representative from Pennsylvania and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

William H. Kirkpatrick
William H. Kirkpatrick (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
In office
May 1, 1958 – November 28, 1970
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
In office
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJames Cullen Ganey
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
In office
March 3, 1927 – May 1, 1958
Appointed byCalvin Coolidge
Preceded bySeat established by 44 Stat. 1347
Succeeded byHarold Kenneth Wood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 26th district
In office
March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1923
Preceded byHenry Joseph Steele
Succeeded byThomas Wharton Phillips Jr.
Personal details
William Huntington Kirkpatrick

(1885-10-02)October 2, 1885
Easton, Pennsylvania
DiedNovember 28, 1970(1970-11-28) (aged 85)
Cumberstone, Maryland
Political partyRepublican
FatherWilliam Sebring Kirkpatrick
EducationLafayette College (A.B.)
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Education and careerEdit

Born the son of William Sebring Kirkpatrick in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, Kirkpatrick attended the public schools, then received a Artium Baccalaureus degree from Lafayette College in 1905 and attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School.[1] He was admitted to the bar and entered private practice of law in Easton starting in 1908.[2] He served in World War I as major and lieutenant colonel, judge advocate, and was a member of the board of review of courts-martial in the United States Army.[1]

Congressional serviceEdit

Kirkpatrick was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives of the 67th United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1921 until March 3, 1923.[1] He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the 68th United States Congress in 1922.[1] He resumed private practice in Easton from 1923 to 1927.[1]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Kirkpatrick was nominated by President Calvin Coolidge on March 3, 1927, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to a new seat created by 44 Stat. 1347.[2] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 3, 1927, and received his commission the same day.[2] He served as Chief Judge from 1948 to 1958.[2] He assumed senior status on May 1, 1958.[2] He was the last federal judge who continued to serve in active service appointed by President Coolidge. His service was terminated on November 28, 1970, due to his death in Cumberstone,[3] an unincorporated community in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.[1] Interment was in Christ Church Cemetery in West River, Maryland.[1]

Notable casesEdit

Kirkpatrick is remembered as "one of the unsung heroes of American corporate and securities law,"[4] issuing early but influential decisions in Insurance Shares Corp. v. Northern Fiscal Corp.,[5] which described circumstances in which a corporation's controlling shareholder has a fiduciary duty not to sell the control block to a looter, and Kardon v. National Gypsum Co.,[6] first recognizing an implied private cause of action for Rule 10b-5 violations.

Other serviceEdit

Kirkpatrick was a trustee to Lafayette College from 1933 to 1961.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g United States Congress. "William Huntington Kirkpatrick (id: K000240)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ a b c d e William Huntington Kirkpatrick at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ "Cumberstone".
  4. ^ Allen, William T.; Kraakman, Reinier; Subramanian, Guhan (2009), Commentaries and Cases on the Law of Business Organization (3d ed.), Austin, TX: Wolters Kluwer, p. 631 n.19, ISBN 978-0-7355-8600-0
  5. ^ 35 F. Supp. 22 (E.D. Pa. 1940).
  6. ^ 69 F. Supp. 512 (E.D. Pa. 1946).
  7. ^ Gendebien, Albert W. (1986). The Biography of a College: A History of Lafayette College 1927 - 1978. Easton, PA: Lafayette College.

External linksEdit