Open main menu

William Leonard Hungate (December 14, 1922 – June 22, 2007) was a United States Representative from Missouri from November 3, 1964 (special election upon the death of Congressman Clarence Cannon), to January 3, 1977, representing the Ninth Congressional District. Following his retirement from the United States House of Representatives, Hungate was appointed to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, where he served until his retirement in 1992.

William L. Hungate
William Hungate.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
In office
October 1, 1991 – June 30, 1992
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
In office
September 26, 1979 – October 1, 1991
Appointed byJimmy Carter
Preceded bySeat established by 92 Stat. 1629
Succeeded byCarol E. Jackson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 9th district
In office
November 3, 1964 – January 3, 1977
Preceded byClarence Cannon
Succeeded byHarold Volkmer
Personal details
Born
William Leonard Hungate

(1922-12-14)December 14, 1922
Benton, Illinois
DiedJune 22, 2007(2007-06-22) (aged 84)
Chesterfield, Missouri
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Missouri (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (LL.B.)

Contents

Early years and educationEdit

Hungate was born in Benton, Illinois, on December 14, 1922, and graduated from Bowling Green High School in Bowling Green, Missouri, in 1940. He initially attended the University of Michigan, transferring to the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, receiving a Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1943. He received his Bachelor of Laws in 1948 from Harvard Law School.[1] In 1969, he was awarded a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Harvard Law School.[2]

World War II military serviceEdit

Hungate served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946, where he received the Combat Infantryman Badge, 3 Battle stars, and Bronze Star. He served in England, France and Germany throughout World War II.[1]

Legal career and politicsEdit

Hungate was admitted to the Missouri bar in 1948 and the Illinois Bar in 1949 and immediately entered private law practice in Troy, Missouri, from 1948 to 1968. He was then elected prosecuting attorney of Lincoln County, Missouri, serving from 1951 to 1956. From 1958 to 1964, he served as a Missouri Special Assistant Attorney General. On November 3, 1964, he was elected as a Democrat simultaneously to the Eighty-eighth and to the Eighty-ninth Congress by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Clarence Cannon. He was reelected to the five succeeding Congresses, serving until January 3, 1977.[1]

Hungate was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and was chosen to propose the second of the three articles of impeachment of President Richard Nixon. He was the Chair of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. The "Hungate Subcommittee," as it became known, investigated the presidential pardon of Nixon by Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, in 1974. On September 24, 1974, Ford appeared before the subcommittee, the only occasion on which a sitting President has given sworn testimony before Congress.[3] Hungate was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-fifth Congress in 1976, and he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Harold Volkmer.[1] He returned to private practice in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1977 to 1979.

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Hungate was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on May 17, 1979, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, to a new seat created by 92 Stat. 1629. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 25, 1979, and received his commission on September 26, 1979. He assumed senior status on October 1, 1991. His service was terminated on June 30, 1992, due to retirement.[2] As District Judge, Hungate presided over the St. Louis public school desegregation case, and was instrumental in designing a voluntary desegregation plan for the St. Louis City and County School Districts.[4]

Notable caseEdit

One of the most significant findings by Hungate in the St. Louis desegregation case was, with respect to school segregation in St. Louis City and County, the "State of Missouri, which prior to 1954 mandated school segregation, never took any effective steps to dismantle the dual system it had compelled by constitution, statutory law, practice and policy." Liddell et al. v. Bd. of Ed. of City of St. Louis, et al., 491 F.Supp. 351, 357, (E.D. Mo. 1980) aff'd, 667 F.2d 643 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1081 (1981). He concluded that "the State defendants stand before the Court as primary constitutional wrongdoers who have abdicated their remedial duty. Their efforts to pass the buck among themselves and other state instrumentalities must be rejected." Id. at 359.[5][6]

Post judicial activitiesEdit

During his retirement, he was the author of It Wasn't Funny at the Time, a collection of photographs and anecdotes from his college years, World War II, life in congress and during his judgeship, published in 1994; and Glimpses of Politics (Red, White & Blue Jokes), published in 1996.[7]

DeathEdit

Hungate was hospitalized on June 6, 2007, at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri for a hematoma that was likely caused by a fall at his home. He died on June 22, 2007, while in intensive care at St. Luke's Hospital. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy; a son, David (who was the original bass player for the rock band Toto); a daughter, Katie Wood; and four grandchildren.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress". Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  2. ^ a b William Leonard Hungate at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ "Long Beach Press-Telegram, Hungate pursued Nixon, June 22, 2007". Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  4. ^ "Time Magazine, March 7, 1983". March 7, 1983. Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  5. ^ "Senator Patrick Leahy Floor Statement on the Nomination of John Ashcroft to the Office of Attorney General". Archived from the original on June 28, 2007. Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  6. ^ "People for the American Way New Release, January 17, 2001". Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  7. ^ "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress-Extended Bibliography". Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  8. ^ "William Hungate obituary, June 22, 2007". Retrieved July 2, 2007.

External linksEdit