Roger B. Taney
Roger Brooke Taney was born and raised in Calvert County, Maryland. He was educated privately and attended Dickinson College where he graduated first in his class. He apprenticed with an Annapolis lawyer for three years and was admitted to the bar.
Taney was a representative in the Maryland House of Delegates for one term; he served as a Federalist. He backed the War of 1812 and split with his party over the issue. Taney returned to private law practice in 1821, after serving a term in the Maryland Senate. He remained active in politics, but joined with the Jacksonian Democrats when the Federalist Party expired. He led Jackon's presidential campaign in Maryland. Jackson later selected Taney as his attorney general.
In 1835, Jackson nominated Taney to replace Gabriel Duvall as associate justice. The Senate postponed the confirmation vote indefinitely. Less than a year later, Jackson sent up Taney's name to replace John Marshall as chief justice.
Taney sat on the Court until his death in 1864. Taney's wife -- Anne Key Taney -- died on September 29, 1855 from complications of a stroke. His youngest daughter, Alice, died the next day from yellow fever.
Taney made significant contributions to American constitutional law, but the case most closely associated with him inflicted enormous injury to the Court as an institution. That case was Dred Scott v. Sandford, decided on March 6, 1857.