William O. Douglas
William Orville Douglas was born in Minnesota but spent most of his youth in Yakima, Washington. He was stricken with polio as a child, and hiked in the mountains to strengthen his weak legs. This activity was the source of his love of the environment.
Douglas served on the Securities and Exchange Commission before being tapped for the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Roosevelt came close to picking Douglas as his running mate in the 1944 election, which would have made Douglas president upon Roosevelt's death in 1945. Douglas supported unpopular political causes and maintained an unconventional lifestyle (he was married four times). His opinions were characterized by a fierce commitment to individual rights and a powerful distrust of government power. Critics claimed that his work showed signs of haste (he was a rapid writer), but defenders admired the forceful and blunt manner by which he reached the core issue in each case.
Brilliant, eccentric and independent, William O. Douglas holds the record for the longest continuous service on the nation's most powerful Court: 36 years and 7 months.
|Clerk||Law School||Terms Clerked|
|Kenneth R. Reed||Arizona (1971)||1971|
|Steven B. Duke||Arizona (1959)||1959|
|Charles E. Ares||Arizona (1952)||1952|
|Eugene A. Beyer, Jr.||1943|
|Stanley E. Sparrowe||1947|
|Harvey M. Grossman||1954|
|Thomas C. Armitage||1969|
|Montana J. Podva||1977, 1978, 1979|