Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mid-Week at Work: U.S. Troops in Mexico.



All around the water tank, waiting for a train
A thousand miles away from home, sleeping in the rain
I walked up to a brakeman just to give him a line of talk
He said "If you got money, boy, I'll see that you don't walk
I haven't got a nickel, not a penny can I show
"Get off, get off, you railroad bum" and slammed the boxcar door

He put me off in Texas, a state I dearly love
The wide open spaces all around me, the moon and the stars up above
Nobody seems to want me, or lend me a helping hand
I'm on my way from Frisco, going back to Dixieland
My pocket book is empty and my heart is full of pain
I'm a thousand miles away from home just waiting for a train.

Jimmy Rodgers, "Waiting for a Train".

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Persistent Myths

It's probably this time of year, but there are certain myths a person hears again and again that are demonstrably false, but there's just no countering them.  It says something about the power of rumor over facts.

 If I get a raise, taxes will mean I'll take less home.

Here's a really common one you hear this time of year, often in the form of a comment like this:  "I hope my new raise didn't bump me up in the next tax bracket, as the government will just be taking more of my money."

The gist of this one is a very persistent belief that once you go up a tax bracket, your entire income is taxed at that higher rate.  No, it isn't.  With our graduated tax system, only the income over each step in the bracket is taxed at that rate.  Income wise, it is always, always, always, better to make more income, no matter what tax bracket you jump up into.  It is never the case that the government will take more of your actual gross because your net increased.

People like this idea so much they just cannot be convinced otherwise, but the truth of the matter is that only the dollars in each income tax bracket are taxed at that rate.  Everyone, absolutely everyone, who pays taxes pays starting off at the lowest rate. Everybody.  And only the dollars that jump up into the next bracket are taxed at that next higher rate.

The First Amendment Protects All Speech

Another one is that when a private journal of any kind, say a newspaper, radio, etc., chooses not to broadcast or publish something, it's interfering with "your right to free speech."  There's no absolute right to say anything you want. Rather, the government can't stop your from saying what you want.  Regular people don't have to put up with whatever you're saying, and if  they choose to shut you up, that's their right.

What the First Amendment actually states is:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That's a pretty simple text. Congress can't pass a law abridging the freedom of speech.  By extension, the states can't either. But the newspaper isn't the government, and it can sure choose to ignore you.

I recently ran into this in the context of a private organization in which one vocal dissenter felt that that his failure to get his way from the organizations board violated his freedom of speech. Nope.  A private board is perfectly free to completely ignore you.

The Canadians have never fought a war.

Here's a really weird, but very common, one.  There's a sense in the United States that Canada has never been in a war.  A few years back a junior high middle school teacher actually lectured a class my son was in to that effect.

Well, guess again.  Canada fought in the War of 1812, and in its view, probably correctly, it beat the stuffing out of the US in it.  Canadian militia pretty much wiped up on American troops in the War of 1812, to be followed by the British landing in the US itself and beating the tar out of us, which relates to another myth below.

Canada also fought some Indian campaigns, just not as many as we did. And it also occasionally had to repel Irish rebels who somehow thought that launching an invasion from the US into Canada would achieve something.

And Canada fought in the Boer War. And Canadians bled in vast numbers in World War One and World War Two. And Canada fought in the Korean War as well.

What Canada did not do is fight in the Vietnam War.  Because the Canadian government at the time was sympathetic, for some reason, with American draft evaders in that period the myth seems to have been created that Canada is a pacifist nation.  It isn't.  Indeed, Canada has been fighting with us in Afghanistan.

"Surrender" is a French word.

This rumor is even nastier than the idea that Canada is a pacifist nation.  It's common in the US to accuse the French of being cowardly.

This rumor seems to have come out of the French defeat at the start of World War Two, but it oddly hasn't attached to any of the other nations that Germany ran over at the start of the war.  And it shouldn't even apply to France.  The French were defeated on the battlefield in 1940 and the government did surrender, but it was being overrun and simply being realistic. Even at that, however, French troops kept fighting where engaged in order to allow the British to evacuate the continent, a valiant act.  A sizable number of French troops never surrendered and effectively disobeyed a legitimate order of their country to keep on fighting.  When the opportunity came in 1943, the French armed forces were pretty quick to get back into the war against the Germans even though it was technically an act of rebellion.

At any rate, accusing the French of cowardice ignores the fact that the French nation bled itself white in the Napoleonic Wars.  I don't admire Napoleon, but like him or hate him, the French troops of that period, which made up in some ways one of the first modern armies, sure weren't cowards.  They died in such numbers that nearly the entire army died in Napoleon's service.

And the French fought hard, if to defeat, in the Franco-Prussian War.  They fought extremely hard in World War One. After World War Two they put up a real fight in Indo China and Algeria, and they've fought with us in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. They fought with the British and Israelis in the Suez incident.  And they've been involved in third world fights, mostly in their former colonies, to an extent we can hardly appreciate. The French have conducted over 200 combat air jumps since World War Two. We've conducted less than twenty.

The United States has never lost a war.

This may be a matter of perception, but  I'll occasionally hear that the Untied States has never lost a war.

Arguably, we lost the War of 1812.  We may pretend otherwise, but basically the Canadian militia wiped up with us in Canada, and the British pasted us everywhere else.  The war basically ended when the British defeated the French in Europe, and then dictated to us what the peace would be. We were allowed to enter into the peace or suffer the consequences. We did.

The US also lost Red Cloud's War. This may be a minor matter in the overall scheme of things, but still, we lost. Red Cloud's Sioux won.

We also lost the Vietnam War and there's no reason to pretend otherwise.  This isn't a simple story, in my view, and it is true that militarily we won. We were not defeated on the battlefield, but the American populace grew tired of the war and in 1975 when the North invaded for the second time in the 1970s, we threw the South under the bus.

If viewed as a campaign in the Cold War, however, which is how I feel the war is more properly viewed (and I'll blog on that in future) the result is a bit different.

You have a right to act like a member of the James Gang on your own property.

One I occasionally run into is the concept that a person has the right to shoot somebody on their land, if they're there without invitation.  No, there is no such right.  Never.

Postscript I.  Myths about relig9ion in the Middle East

LeAnn   at Ramblings of a Teacher, has a series of related "mythconceptions" that she's posted about, and she justifiably asks why, on her blog, do these myths persist.  It's a good question.  Indeed, it's one I pondered without really having a good answer to, but this week I was given a partial one.  In this case, some teachers (not LeAnn) fail to do their homework, and then teach their charges myths or errors.

The reason that I can say that, and I am, is that my daughter was studying for a test on the Middle East last night, and she had with her the supposed answers to the questions she will be tested on. Some of those answers were flat out wrong.  I discussed this as part of the family conversation, but quite frankly, as its her grade, she's learned the wrong answers to the questions.

This teacher is a popular one, and the kids like the teacher.  But at least on this subject, the teacher is pretty badly misinformed.

For example, one of the questions was what three countries in the Middle East are theocracies. As we know, a theocracy is a state ruled by a religion.  There are darned few of them, actually, in history at any one point, and there aren't really any in the Middle East today. The official answer, however, was "Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Hmmmm.

Israel is a parliamentary democracy and always has been. It's a "Jewish state", but that doesn't make it a theocracy any more than Germany's status as a German state (like Israel, Germany has a "law of return) makes it a racial state of some sort.  Israel may have a law of return, extending citizenship by option to Jewish people who seek it, but it also grants full voting rights to its Moslem and Christian citizens, both of which it has and has always had.

Indeed, even its status as a "Jewish state" doesn't quite mean what people might suppose.  At its founding, the state of Israel had a fair number of influential secular Jewish people whom others might term as "culturally Jewish."  To be Jewish does not necessarily mean that a person is an observant person religiously, any more than to be Greek automatically makes a person a devout member of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Anyhow, Israel certainly isn't a theocracy.

But that wasn't the only error.  More on that later.

Postscript, continued, Myths about religion in the Middle East

Well what about Saudi Arabia and Iran?  He was right there, wasn't he?
No, neither of those nations are "theocracies", although a person can make the case that Iran is a semi theocracy.

Starting with Iran, Iran calls itself an "Islamic Republic", but names do not necessarily mean all that much.  China, for example, calls itself a "People's Republic", whatever that is supposed to mean, and it isn't a liberal democracy by any means.  East Germany called itself the German Democratic Republic, with the only part of that name that was accurate being the German part.  To add to the problem, it isn't entirely clear what an Islamic Republic is even supposed to mean.

What it seems to mean is a government incorporating Sharia law, which Iran does.  And Sharia law does originate in the Koran.  Beyond that, Iran has a semi functional electoral system, which falls short of what we'd regard as a functioning democracy, but it does have some electoral process.

The country isn't actually run by mullahs, as some would assert, but its very clear that Shia mullahs have a huge, perhaps determinative, role in the governance of the country, together with the descendants of the 1970s Shia fundamentalist revolutionaries.  So what we have there is a heavily Shia influenced, less than fully democratic, quasi revolutionary state.  A person might compare it loosely with early post Mexican Revolution Mexico which had some sort of functioning deliberative body, but which only the PRI really mattered.  Or, a person might badly compare it with Imperial Germany, which had a democratically elected parliament, but the country was really governed and controlled by traditional forces outside of parliament.

Either way you look at it, it isn't truly a "theocracy", although perhaps it comes close.

Well, what about Saudi Arabia?  Not so much.

Saudi Arabia is truly one of the worlds sole surviving examples of a true monarchy.  It's a country basically owned by a single family.  Now, that family did rise to prominence in part through supporting a certain extreme Sunni group of Arabian mullahs, whose thinking is reflected in the state.  But the mullahs themselves never actually governed the country.  Indeed, as the branch of Sunni thought the Sauds espoused was so radical that it was questioned as heretical before their adoption of it and ascension to the crown (or rather creation of the crown), a person might argue that group is in debt to the Sauds.

Now, it is certainly the case that Saudi Arabia is unquestionably Sunni Moslem, and that it also applies Koranic principles to its law.  A person can criticize it, but it doesn't depart in this fashion hugely from other primitive monarchies, most of which have been associated with a religion their respective crowns adopted.  Queen Elizabeth I, for example, wasn't exactly tolerant of Catholics.  That didn't make Elizabethan England a theocracy, however.

And to be continued.

Postscript continued, Myths about religion in the Middle East

Okay, well what else?

Another question asked the students to rank the three largest religions in the Middle East, with the provided answer, in order if number of followers, being Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

Right?  Nope, that's wrong.

The second largest religion in the Middle East is Christianity. 

I guess I might give a person a bit of a pass on this one, as Middle Easter Christians are so ignored by the outside world, but they are the second oldest religion in the Middle East and they are spread throughout the Middle East.  There isn't a country in the Middle East that doesn't have some native Christians, save perhaps for the very small ones like Dubai or Kuwait.

That's right, some native Christians.

Christian populations in the Middle East range up to as many as 18,000,000 but may be as few as 16,000,000.  More than any other major faith, Christians have been targets of violence in the Middle East and they have accordingly opted for decades for emigration, if they could.  But they still outnumber adherents of Judaism by at least 10,000,000 people, if not more, and it probably is more.Some Middle Eastern countries have, or would have, extremely significant Christian populations but for their being the targets of increasing violence in recent years, making them a population that is essentially undergoing "ethnic cleansing" as we speak, with hardly anyone doing anything about it.  Populations of Catholics, Orthodox and Coptic Christians are under stress everywhere in the Middle East.

If immigrant populations in the form of temporary workers are included, some Middle Eastern countries, such as Dubai, would be regarded as having huge, mostly Catholic, populations.

Indeed, one of the myths of the Middle East, related to this story, is that Islam took the region by storm.  It didn't.  Islam didn't become the power in the region it became until Sulemon, but even at that the "Islamic" principalities he conquered often had Christian majorities.  It wasn't until tremendous force was brought upon these communities that conversions to Islam really began.  Islam wasn't even able to sweep the Arabian Peninsula without the help, ironically, of a tribe on the peninsula that was Catholic.  Christian populations hung on everywhere, in isolation, for a very long time, and in some ways what we're seeing now in regards to them has been a story that's been ongoing for over 1,000 years.

Postscript II  Hindus and vegetarianism

Americans commonly believe that Indian is a vegetarian nation, because the largest religion in India is Hinduism.

Before we go on to that, we'll note that some Americans believe all Indians are Hindus.  Not hardly.  India is a "put together" nation of the former English colony variety, and not one single "nation".  It has a wide vareity of ethnic identities and religions, including a Catholic population that dates back to the Apostolic age.  Islam and Buddhism are also present in India, and India still has a pretty large Communist Party, which of course is philosophically opposed to any religion.  But Hinduism is the largest religion in India.

Well, Hindus are all vegetarians, right?

Nope.  A minority of Indian Hindus are vegetarians. 

Hindus do have dietary restrictions, to be sure. The oldest one in Hinduism appears to be a ban on eating horses, cattle, or people, although this is debated.  It is thought that the ban might actually have applied to possessed horses and cattle, and any people.

Some Hindu sects are vegetarian, and these are well represented in India. But a majority of Indian Hindus are not members of those sects, and they do eat meat.  They do not eat cattle, but other meats.

This myth is interesting in that it at one time was a reason that Hindus were looked down upon, and now its a reason that some who come from outside Central Asia will point towards Hinduism, but it's simply wrong.

Postscript III:  The Roman Edition

I was reminded today of a couple of popular myths regarding the Romans.

I suppose it would be surprising if the Romans weren't subject to all sort of myths, after all, they were a major power forever.  Given that, some baloney is going to stick to them.  Let's take a look

A. The Romans Never Lost a Battle

There's apparently a popular myth that the Romans never lost a battle.  Oh yes they did.  You can't be a military power that long and not loose a few, that's for sure, and they lost their fair share.

What's more the like it is that the Roman's had really deep military pockets, so they were able recover from their losses, but loose they did.

B.  Rome Fell because it was corrupt.  

This myth is extremely persistent, but completely in error.

Students receive this myth in some classrooms today, and its no surprise as it was a thesis advanced by Gibbons, who was the first really major modern historian (1700s) who addressed the topic of Roman history.  Gibbons, however, was not free from inserting his own beliefs and agendas into his writing, and while the world owes him a debt of thanks for tackling the topic, it is burdened by his outlook.  

Gibbons was English and living in an era when the ruling class of the United Kingdom was quite anti Catholic, as was Gibbons himself.  This is significant in that it seems to have colored Gibbons views of 5th Century Rome.  It doesn't seem to answer, however, why Gibbons went on in his work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, to cover the Byzantine Empire as well, which is typically forgotten about him.

Anyhow, the popular myth is that Rome had become debauched and was reveling in vice which is why the robust Germans busted in and shut the whole thing down.  In actuality, Rome had been pretty debauched since day one and was actually living at the height of its virtue at the time it fell.  The Romans did a fairly good job of actually cleaning up its early history, in terms of what it told about itself, but in reality the town had been founded by bands of roving, fleeing ,thieves and had at first been a pretty much all male criminal enclave.  It became a real town when it acquired a female population, but it did that by taking its female population by force, not a very admirable thing to do.  In its imperial period Rome did all sorts of nasty icky things, but that didn't cause it to fall.

With Constantine the  Great, who ruled from Byzantium, the empire became Christian, but retained a large pagan population.  But its character really began to change. By the mid 400s when Rome fell its official religion was Christianity and it was at an all time high in moral behavior.

Rome really fell because of a series of odd events, which is often how such things occur.  For one thing, Rome had overextended itself, which it knew.  It had withdrawn from its most northerly advances some time prior and was working on trying to consolidate its holdings.  Its grip on Britain was slipping.  Administering the Empire from Rome had proven too difficult and the administration of the Empire had been split in two.  It had suffered from internal armed strife since the time of Caesar which continually drug it down.  And, most significantly here, Germanic peoples from Eastern Europe were being driven west by invading Slavs, which caused them to push by necessity on Rome's northern and eastern borders. They were coming in no matter what, and there was little Rome could do stop that.  Having said that, the Romans botched it specifically by ineptly handling Germans crossing the Rhine, giving unnecessary rise to invasion, and the end of the Western Empire.

C.  The Vomitorium isn't what you've heard.

As a minor one, a Vomitorium wasn't where people went to throw up, in their debauchery.  It's a big exit.  That's because it derives from   a word meaning to spew forth, as to pour out, as in to pour out a lot of people.  Think stadium exist.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

They had been soldiers. . . notable people who had military service, but are notable for something else.



Recently I did a post entitled "They Were Lawyers," concerning people who were or are lawyers, but became well known for something else.  This is similar, but perhaps of less merit.

The reason for this is that military service is amazingly widespread, or at least it has been.  Frankly, nearly every man of my father's generation had served in the military. Basically, if you were between 18 and 35, in 1940, you probably saw service and that kept up for a long time thereafter. Even in my generation military service is extremely widespread.  Indeed, it's almost the case for men who turned 18 after 1940 that, for a big block of time, it's more notable if they didn't see military service.  Therefore, it's surprising to us when we learn that Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney had no military service, as they were in a generation where we'd expect it, for the most part.

Be that as it may, it's still worth noting when somebody's military service was worthwhile in some fashion, but perhaps not foremost in our minds.  This is, however, truer for some generations and eras than others.  In other words, if you were old enough, or young enough, to serve in the Civil War, and were male, you probably did. And the same is true of World War One and World War Two.

This post is one of those  Trailing Posts, and as such, it isn't even close to being a partially complete list at the time of its being posted.

Like some of these other trailing posts, being listed here doesn't automatically equate with being honorable.  At least a couple of the people on this list are infamous, rather than famous.

__________________________________________________________________________________

 James Arness (James Aurness)

Most famous for his television portrayal of Marshall Matt Dillon in the television version of  Gunsmoke, Arness, like his radio compatriot William Conrad, had been in the service in World War Two.  Like Conrad, he'd wanted to be a fighter pilot, but his height prevented that, and he served i the war as an infantryman in the 3d Infantry Division.  He was wounded at Anzio.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Bea Arthur

 Bea Arthur in the Marine Corps, an occupation she would deny her entire life.

Actress Bea Arthur was in the Marines from 1943 to 1945.  Oddly, she denied her World War Two service all the way until her death.

Category:  Actor

Date added:  September 30, 2013.

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Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart, the legendary actor, joined the United States Navy in World War One.  Bogart had a record as being a model sailor, having enlisted in the Navy after having left private school.  He remained in the Navy Reserve for some time after leaving active service in the Navy.

Bogart would play a Naval officer in one of his best films, The Caine Mutiny.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  March 9, 2014.

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Ernest Borgnine

Greek American actor Ernest Borgnine played a large variety of characters, first becoming widely known to movie audiences for his brilliant portrayal of an aging bachelor in the film Marty. But to television viewers, he might be best remembered for playing P.T. boat commander McCale in McCale's Navy.  Audiences were probably largely ignorant of the fact that Borgnine had served in the U.S. Navy prior to World War Two, and then again during World War Two, both times as an enlisted man, so he actually had a great deal of experience in the Navy.  His total Navy time amounted to ten years, with only brief break in service from October 1941 to January 1942.  His service period in fact was so long, that's surprising that he did not continue on for another ten years to complete the period necessary for retirement.

Category:  Actor

__________________________________________________________________________________

Orville Richard Burrell (Shaggy)

Rap artist Shaggy served as a Marine Corps artilleryman.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 13, 2014.

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Stanley Kirk Burrell (MC Hammer)

Early rapper Burrell served in the U.S. Navy.

Category:  Musician.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush was the youngest fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.  He is the last World War Two veteran to have served as President, and will be the last.

Category:  Politician.  Businessman

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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 George W. Bush

George H. W. Bush's son, George W. Bush, was also a fighter pilot, but in the Texas Air National Guard.  He has actually received a fair amount of criticism for this from critics who fail to understand that the Air National Guard is actually the nation's primary air defense entity, rather than the USAF which has global commitments, and that training for an aircraft tends to be specific for that aircraft.  The younger Bush volunteered to be activated for service in Vietnam, but was declined in light of his being trained for F102s.

To date, George W. Bush is the last veteran to have occupied the position of President of the United States.

Category:  Politician, Businessman

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Charles Bronson

Bronson, born  Charles Dennis Buchinsky, served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War Two as a crewman aboard a B-29.  He was wounded in action in that capacity.  He would play a World War Two airman in the movie The Great Escape, albeit a Polish one.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Mel Brooks

Comedic producer and actor Mel Brooks was a combat engineer in the U.S. Army during World War Two.

Category:  Actor, Filmmaker, Writer

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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Drew Carey

Television comedian Drew Carey sported that crew-cut before he was on television.  He was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1980 to 1986.

Category:  Actor, Comedian 

Date added:  September 30, 2013.
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Johnny Cash

Cash served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

Category:  Musician.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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James Earl Carter

Jimmy Carter was the fifth President in a row to have served in the U.S. Navy, although he was a Korean War veteran, not a World War Two veteran like the prior four.  Carter was an Annapolis graduate.

Carter was the first President of the United States since 1945 who had not been a veteran of World War One or World War Two, and is the only President who was a veteran of the Korean War.  Given the passage of time another Korean War veteran will never be elected to that office.

Category:  Politician.  Farmer.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Winston S. Churchill

 Churchill with T.E. Lawrence and Prince Feisel, just after World War One.

One of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century, Churchill started off in his adult life on a career path in the British Army.  Churchill was a Sandhurst graduate and a British cavalryman, serving in Northern India, Africa and in World War One.  He also saw the action of the Boer War, but as a correspondent on leave from the army.  He'd leave the army during World War One while serving in parliament and rose to a position in the government at that time.

Category:  Politician, author

Date added:  January 27, 2014.

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John Coltrane

Legendary Jazz artist Coltrane served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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William Conrad (John William Cann, Jr.)

William Conrad is mostly remembered today for his portrayal of stout smart television detectives.  But prior to that, he was a very well liked and recognizable radio actor, most notably portraying the radio version of Marshall Matt Dillon in the radio version of Gunsmoke.

Conrad, born Cann, was also a World War Two fighter pilot.  He took to acting after his post war release from the service.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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 Thomas Daniel (Tim) Conway

Tim Conway was one of the premier comedians of the 50s and 60s, and his career has stretched on beyond that.  He was in the U.S. Army in the mid 1950s.

Category:  Comedian

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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João Duarte Cidade (St. John of God)



John was a Portuguese born man who twice enlisted as a soldier, seeing extensive action, as a young man.  The 15th Century soldier then experienced a profound religious conversion and became a devout Monk, dedicated to hospital work.  For some time he felt a tremendous burden about his prior life as a soldier.

Category:  Catholic Monk.

Date Added:  March 9, 2014
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William H. (Bill) Cosby

One of the greatest comedians the Unites States has ever produced was a U.S. Navy Corpsman in his early life, a fact that he fairly frequently has inserted into his routines.

Category:  Comedian, Actor.

Date Added:  February 28, 2014

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The Cossacks


Cossacks are an ethnic group largely located in southern Russia.  Strongly associated with Russian cavalry, they are actually a distinct people of mixed ethnic background which had, well into the 20th Century, a culture that emphasized military service, typically mounted, as well as hunting and pastoral pursuits.  Very much diminished by the Communist who opposed their independence, they none the less continue to exist to this day, but without the nearly universal mounted military service of prior eras.

Category:  Ethnic group.

Date added:  January 26, 2014.

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César de Bus

De Bus was a French a French officer who served in the French Army and Navy.  Originally a very pious man, he turned towards a life of dissipation while recovering from illness in Paris.  This didn't last however, and he repented from that life and became a priest.  He has been canonized as a Saint.

Category:  Cleric.

Date Added:  April 15, 2014

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Rene Descartes

Polymath Descartes has also been mentioned in the Lawyers thread, but he had also been a soldier.  He wanted to be a soldier and served as an engineering officer in the Dutch Republic, prior to his becoming the noted philosopher.

Category:  Lawyer.  Philopsher.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014.

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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood, who has played a few military characters in films, was a Korean War era solder in the U.S. Army.  His duty station was Ft. Ord, California, where he was oddly detailed to the duty of life guard.


Category:  Actor
________________________________________________________________________________

Jason Everman

A member of the rock bands Nirvana and Soundgarden, Everman joined the Army and served in combat in the Special Forces.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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John Fogerty

John Fogerty, who rose to prominence with Credence Clearwater Revival and who remains a recording artist today joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1966.  His membership in the Army Reserve curtailed the bands ability to tour in its early period.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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Henry Fonda

Fonda served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two as an officer.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.

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Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the fourth U.S. President in a row to have served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.


Category:  Politician

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Francesco Forgione (St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina was an Italian Capuchin Priest who became famous for his piety during his own lifetime and was widely regarded by those who knew him as a saint even while living.  He was conscripted into the Italian army during World War One and served in the medical service.  He was continually released and recalled throughout the war due to ill health.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  March 10, 2014

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Joe Foss

Joe Foss was the Governor of South Dakota from 1955 to 1959, the first Commissioner of the National Football League and President of the National Rifle Association. He was also a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his service as a Marine Corps pilot during World War Two, and later a general in the United States Air Force Reserve.


Category:  Politician.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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Sam Fuller

Move director Sam Fuller is best remembered today for his film The Big Red One.  Fuller, in fact, had served in the 1st Infantry Division in World War Two, seeing a great deal of combat in that role.  The movie has a character very closely based on him.


Category:  Movie Director

Date Added: February 26, 2014

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Clark Gable

Clark Gable served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War Two, flying several B-17 combat missions over Europe and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  February 26, 2014.

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Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead entered the Army at age 17 after getting into trouble at home.  He was a poor soldier, and did not complete his term of enlistment.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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James Garner

Actor James Garner has a surprising amount of military service.  He served as a sixteen year old merchant seaman during World War Two, before returning to high school, and then joined the Oklahoma National Guard, and soon after that, the Regular Army, where he saw action in the Korean War.  He was twice wounded in Korea.


Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  August 2, 2013. 

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Theodor Geisel (Dr. Suess)

Illustrator and author Theodor Geisel was an illustrator for the Signal Corps during World War Two.

Category:  Artist, Author.

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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James Geringer

Jim Geringer was Wyoming's governor from 1995 to 2003.  During that period of time he was principally thought of as a wheat farmer who had entered politics, but he had a ten year period of service as an Air Force officer, a period so long that usually a person would complete another ten and retire.

Category:  Farmer, Politician

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Albert Gore

Al Gore served in the United States Army in Vietnam.  He is the only individual to have served in Vietnam, to date, who has occupied the position of Vice President.  None have occupied the Presidency.

Category:  Politician. Environmental critic.

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Günter Grass

Grass has been one of post war Germany's most influential writers.  Coming of age during World War Two, he attempted to join the German Kreigsmarine and volunteered for submarine duty, but was refused.  In turn, he was conscripted into the Wafffen SS.  At that point late in the war, the SS had acquired conscription powers.

Category:  Writer

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Peter Graves (Peter Aurness)

The brother of fellow actor James Arness, Peter Graves had also been in the service during World War Two.  Graves served in the Army Air Corps.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Claudio Gronzotto

The artistic Claudio Gronzotto is remembered today for his piety and his sculptures.  The Italian Gronzotto grew up in poverty and spent most of his life as a monk, after graduating from the Venice Academy of Fine Arts.  As a young man, however, he had been conscripted into the Italian Army, in which he served for three years.  He was canonized in 1994.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  September 10, 2013.

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Olaf Haraldson

Olaf Haraldson started off life as a Viking raider and rose to be King of Norway. Along the way, however, he converted from Nordic paganism to Christianity and brought the Catholic Church to Norway.  He's remembered to day as the Patron Saint of Norway, but in his effort to preserve the Church there, he died in battle in 1030, at which time he was about 35 years old and had reigned for 15 years.

Category:  Monarch, Christian missionary.

Date Added:  July 31, 2013. 

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Ed Herschler

Long serving Wyoming Governor Ed Herschler was a Marine Corps Raider in World War Two, prior to becoming a lawyer, and then governor.

Category:  Lawyer, Politician.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Adolph Hitler

I really debated whether to note Hitler or not, but in the interest of not self editing, I decided to do so.

Hitler was an Austrian, a country notable at the time for its ethnic diversity, but he left it and was living in Bavaria when World War One broke out.  He served in the German army during World War One, obtaining the rank of corporal.

Category:  Too well known and icky to list.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014.

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Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem



The Hospitalliers were one of several military monastic order during the Middle Ages.   Starting off as an organization dedicated to the care of the sick, it occupied a role analogous to the Knights Templar later on, with that role being focused on the defense of Christendom in the Middle East.  They never, however, lost their hospital role.
Unlike the Templars, however, the order still exists today, having survived the Moslem conquest of the Holy Land and the loss of its later bastion in Malta, although I am uncertain of the form it presently takes.  It is not a monastic order today.  Today, once again, it is dedicated to hospital work.
Because of their name, their original martial role is sometimes forgotten.

Category:  Catholic monastic order.  Medicine.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Andrew Jackson

Old Hickory is a character who shows up on more than one of these lists here, as he was a Tennessee lawyer and planter.  He also enrolled in the Tennessee militia in his early teens, and served as a militia officer in the War of 1812 and the Seminole War. It was really his successful defense of New Orleans, albeit actually after the War of 1812 had ended, unbeknownst to the combatants, that would cause his rise to national fame.

Category:  Lawyer, farmer, politician

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Richard Hanley Jaeckel

Diminutive, athletic character actor Richard Jaeckel served in the Merchant Marines during World War Two.  This was after the launch of his acting career in Guadalcanal Diary, at which time he was only 17 years old.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Lyndon Johnson

Lyndon Johnson, like the President before him and after him, served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.  He was serving in Congress at the time he sought, and received a Commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve.


Category:  Politician.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Maynard James Keenan

Keenan of the band Tool served in the U.S. Army.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 13, 2014.

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George Kennedy

George Kennedy has been a well known character actor for decades, playing a wide variety of roles.  Surprisingly, acting was a fall back career for him as he started off as a career soldier.

Kennedy made his debut as a radio actor as a child but put it aside to enter the Army during World War Two.  He liked the Army and determined to make it a career, ultimately serving sixteen years before being medically retired due to a back injury.  During that time, his service career included working for Armed Forces Radio.  Kennedy's roles upon returning to acting famously included a role in The Dirty Dozen, with few probably realizing that both he and actor Ernest Borgnine, both playing officers, had served many years as enlisted men.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy served in the U.S. Navy in World War Two, famously serving as  P.T. Boat commander.

I'm frankly not a Kennedy fan, but I will concede that whatever else a person says about him, his time in the service featured some genuine heroism.


Category:  Politician

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Joyce Kilmer.

Poet Joyce Kilmer was a significant literary figure prior to World War One, but is remembered today mostly for his legendary poem, Trees.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was promoted to the rank of sergeant, but was killed in France on July 30, 1918.

TREES

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree .
Category:  Poet, author.

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Kris Kristofferson

Kristofferson came from a family with a history of military service, and his father ultimately retired as a Major General in the U.S. Air Force. Family pressure lead the Rhodes Scholar to try an Army career, and he was a helicopter pilot in the early 1960s.  Following his term of service he briefly taught English at West Point before devoting his time to his music career, a decision which lead to his family severing their connections with him.

Category:  Actor
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Hardy Krüger

Hardy Kruger (Franz Eberhard August Krüger) is a well known German actor who has appeared in a variety of English language movies.  He was also an underaged soldier in the SS late in World War Two.  In at least one film the quiet Kruger portrayed an SS officer, that being A Bridge Too Far.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître

Lemaître appears here also in the They Were Clerics thread.  He was a physicists who was the first person to propose an expansion of the universe, the first to propose the "Big Bang" and he was also the first person to what is now known as Hubble's Law. The brilliant physicists was also a Belgian Catholic priest.  During World War One, before he took Holy Orders, he was an artillery officer in the Belgian Army.

Category:  Catholic Priest.  Physicist. Scientist.  Mathematician.  

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.

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Íñigo López de Loyola (Ignatius of Loyola)

St. Ignatious of Loyola was a very experienced Spanish soldier when battlefield wounds resulted in a period of recuperation for him. During this period, he started reading the lives of the Saints and found that martial texts lost their appeal to him. He took Holy Orders and ultimately founded the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits. Today (July 31) is his Saint's Day.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  July 31, 2013. 

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 Joe Louis (Joseph Louis Barrow)

Boxing great Joe Louis interrupted his career to serve in the U.S. Army during World War Two, at first being assigned as a cavalryman.

Category:  Athelete

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Archibald MacLeish



MacLeish is also mentioned in the Lawyer thread.  He was a Harvard Law graduate who turned towards writing.  A progressive in the Progressive Era, he served as an artillery office in the U.S. Army in World War One, later returned practicing law, lived as a writer in the ex-patriot American community in Paris, and became Librarian of Congress.

Category:  Lawyer, Civil Servant, Writer.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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Tracy Marrow (Ice T)

Actor and wrapper Ice T was in the U.S. Army from 1979 to 1983.

Category:  Actor, Musician 

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.
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Lee Marvin

As is fairly well known, Lee Marvin was a World War Two Marine.  Marvin's Marine Corps term was significant enough to him that the actor, who often played military characters, attempted to reenlist during a particularly rough time in his later life.

Marvin was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where his tombstone reads:  Lee Marvin, PFC US Marine Corps, World War II.

Category:  Actor

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Robert R. McCormick



Robert R. McCormick appears below in the "They were lawyers" thread as well.  He was a legendary newspaper publisher, and the owner of the Chicago Tribune. Today, to the extent he's remembered (and in the publishing industry, he is remembered) that's what he's remembered for. But, McCormick was a graduate of the Northwestern School of Law, which he attended following his graduation from Yale.  He practiced law for three years before moving over to the Tribune.  However, he served in the Illionois National Guard's cavalry as an officer prior to World War One and as an artillery officer during World War One, which left a lasting impression on him.  The Pritzer Military Libary was founded and endowed by the McCormick foundation, which remembers him as Col. Robert R. McCormick.

Category:  Correspondent, Publisher, Soldier

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.
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Ed McMahon

Straight man for Johnny Carson for many years, Ed McMahon had been a Marine Corps pilot during World War Two.

Category:  Television personality.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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 George Robert (Bob) Newhart

Comedian Bob Newhart, like many comedians, had varied early career experiences, including have attended law school and having worked as an accountant.  He was drafted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Category:  Comedian.  Accountant

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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David Niven

Legendary British movie actor David Niven was a graduate of Sandhurst, the British "West Point".  He was accordingly commissioned as a Lieutenant in the British Army in 1930.  He did not enjoy his service in the peacetime British Army and reserved, after effectively going AWOL, in 1933.  He rejoined the British Army at the start of World War Two and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before the war's end.


Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.  He served in administrative roles.

Category:  Politician

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald, as is often noted, had served in the Marines prior to his defection to the USSR.  He actually joined the Marines at age 17, prior to being able to do so with parental permission, and his older brother, who had also been a Marine, signed his permission for him.  Oswald did not serve a full term, and was discharged in 1959 on a hardship, claiming he needed to take care of his mother.

Category: Murderer

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Elvis Presley

Presley's career was famously interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in the late 1950s.  He served tour of duty in Germany.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Pope Benedict came from a strongly Catholic family that was opposed to the Nazis, but he was conscripted into the Luftwaffe as an underaged antiaircraft crewman.  Late in the war he was transferred to a unit training as infantry but deserted.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  July 31, 2013.
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Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan served prior to World War Two as an Army Reserve cavalry officer.  He was activated in World War Two, during which he made films for the service.

Category:  Actor, Politician

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli ( Pope John XXIII)

Pope John XXIII was already an ordained Catholic Priests when he was conscripted into the Italian Army during World War One, an event not unusual for European armies. He served at the rank of sergeant as a stretcher bearer and chaplain in the medical corps.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  July 31, 2013.
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 Mickey Rooney (Joseph Yule, Jr.)

Legendary actor Mickey Rooney commenced his acting career as a child, but saw it interrupted by his being conscripted into the U.S. Army during World War Two.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Theodore Roosevelt

As is well know, Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in the raising of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish American War.  He was actually the units second in command, with Leonard Wood serving as the commander, but Wood moved up in theater due to the illness of a more senior commander, leaving Roosevelt in command.  Less well known is that Roosevelt had been in the New York National Guard prior to the war.  Roosevelt is the only U.S. President to have been a veteran of the Spanish American War.

Category:  Politician, writer
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Robert Ryan

Character actor Robert Ryan served in the Marine Corps during World War Two, during which he was assigned as a drill sergeant.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Pat Sajak

The Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak was a U.S. Army radio announcer in Vietnam during his service in the Army.


Category:  Television personality

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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Tom Selleck

Actor Tom Selleck, who came to fame playing former Navy Seal detective Thomas Magnum served in the California Army National Guard's 160th Infantry Regiment, a unit activated during the Watts Riots.  Selleck's photograph was posted on a bulletin board at Camp San Luis Obispo, a California National Guard training facility, when I stopped in there to take a look in 1986, at which time I was in the Wyoming Army National Guard.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  March 9, 2014.

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Aristotelis "Telly" Savalas

Famed actor Telly Savalas served in the U.S. Army during World War Two.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Jene Shepard 

Jene Shepard is best remembered today for being the inspiration for The Christmas Story, a modern Christmas classic in which he also has a cameo role.  Shepard had an extensive radio career and also was an author, basing much of his comedic writings on humorous recollections of his youth.  Included amongst these were his bitingly funny stories based on his service in the U.S. Army, in the Signal Corps, during World War Two.

Category:  Radio personality, actor, author, comedian

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden jointed the U.S. Army Reserve and sought to enter the Special Forces, but he did not complete training, having been injured in the process.

Category:  Leaker

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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James Stewart

Actor Jimmy Stewart came from a family with a strong tradition of military service.  His father had served in the Spanish American War and World War One.  Jimmy Stewart served  in the Army Air Force during World War Two and stayed in the Air Force Reserve after the war, retiring as a Major General after 27 years of service.  During the Vietnam War he flew a mission on a B-52 as an observer.


Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.

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Dave Thomas

Wendy's founder Dave Thomas was an Army mess sergeant, fittingly enough, during the Korean War.  He served in the United States and Germany.

Category:  Businessman

Date Added:  September 30, 2013

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Harry Truman 


Harry Truman is the country's only President to have served in World War One.  Truman entered the service through the Missouri National Guard and served in the war as an artillery officer, a position that was acquired at that time through unit election.


Category:  Politician. _________________________________________________________________________________
  
William Wellman

Legendary  movie director William Wellman jointed a volunteer ambulance service in World War One, before transferring to the French Foreign Legion.   In that capacity he became a fighter pilot.

Category:  Movie Director

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Karol Józef Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II)

Pope John Paul II is well within the living memory of many, many people, but few might actually know that he was conscripted into the pre World War Two Polish Army very briefly, just before World War Two, but his training was not completed by the time the Germans overran the country.

In some ways, military service would not have been unexpected for the future Pope, as his father was a officer in the Polish army.

Category:  Cleric.
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The Vikings

Not normally thought of in these terms, Vikings were Scandinavian bands sworn to allegiance to a leader for a raid. To go raiding was to go "viking."  Seen as bandits by outsiders, from their prospective their activities were more martial, in a rough and ready sense.

Category:  Ethnic subgroup

Date Added:  January 26, 2014. 

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Related Posts:

They were Clerics. 

They were Farmers. 

They were Hunters or Fishermen.

They were Lawyers.

Burdens of History. Russia, and not getting it.

Russia has been in the news a lot recently.


That's obviously an understatement, and a cynic might state that "when isn't it?", but Russia hasn't always loomed large in our minds here in the US, like it has in the minds of other nations, principally its neighbors.  This is the case for a variety of reasons that have to do with its history, and also with ours.

Russians don't form, by and large, a demographic we think of much in terms of our immigrant past. This is not to say that there have not been Russian immigrants to the US, there have been, but not in the numbers that other European nations have, if we define Europe to be that land East of the Urals.  Yes, Russians have immigrated to the US, but even that immigration tells us something about Russia that we generally fail to grasp.

The Russians are not a European people, and the sooner we figure that out, the better.  Oh, I know that some student of geography will point out that Russia less Siberia is in continental Europe, which is perfectly true, and I know others would be shocked by that statement as the Russians look European, but they aren't.

How is this true.

Well, we have to look at what is Europe, and we can make a pretty good case that if it isn't Roman, it isn't Europe.

Most of what we think of as European today is European because the Romans were there.  The remainder is that area which Rome influenced, or at least the Latin Rite of the Church did in antiquity.  That's not only pretty significant, its enormously determinant of our cultural outlook.

The Roman Empire occupied all of Europe south of the Rhine River.  A pretty big patch of it.  It also came to occupy the Greek world, which at that time included Greece, the Balkans, Turkey and North Africa. Some will point out that not all of these regions were really "Greek", but it can be noted that they were more Greek than perhaps we suppose, as the Greeks had exhibited a strong influence in the regions where they had gone, even if they were a tiny minority there.  True, we wouldn't expect a majority population of Greeks anywhere in Libya  or Palestine, but that doesn't mean that the Greeks weren't part of that world. They were. And the Romans certainly came to be, although that's outside of our story.

South of the Rhine and south of Hadrian's Wall in Britain the world was Roman.  North of it, it wasn't Roman dominated, but the Romans exhibited influence.  When Rome fell in the 5th Century, it left much of its culture and it certainly left, by that time, the Church.

When Rome fell, and the Germans flooded south, and the Scots landed in Britain, a pagan non Romanized people were introduced to new lands. But that introduction flowed both ways.  It wasn't really long before these new people adopted some things that the Romans had left and they very quickly became members of the Latin Rite of the Church. The spreading of the Church took some time, to be sure.  Scandinavia, for example, was brought into the Christian fold late, and even Poland was pagan for much longer than we would generally suppose, but it did occur.

That's hugely significant in terms of culture. Rome had the view that nationality mattered less than central achievement.  The Roman Empire was founded on crime and was always corrupt, but amazingly it developed high concepts of human unity and it tended to disregard a person's ethnicity in favor of their abilities.  The concept that Celts, Arabs, Greeks, Italians and others could all belong to the same political entity was an amazingly broad one in that or any other era.  The Greeks had regarded non Greeks as barbarians.  The Romans regarded barbarians as being those who did not have the benefit of Roman rule, a distinctively different concept.  When Rome fell, and the Church remained, it left a situation in which the foundation of learning and knowledge was not tribal or national at all, but universal, vested in the institutions of the Universal Church.

So what does that have to do with Russia? Well, Everything.

Russia was a Slavic land on the crossroads of invasion from the East and West. From the East came Asian peoples who had a clear path of invasion, uninhibited by geography. From the west this was also true.  Russia's people fell to these invaders time and time again.  Even the name "Russia" comes from one, the Rus, a Scandinavian people who left their legacy in the form of a name, some cities, and in the strong strain of blue eyes and blond hair that Russians exhibit, unusual for Slavic peoples.

Russia was Christianized from Constantinople.  It wasn't the only country which received its Christianizing missionaries from the seat at Constantinople by any means, and the Church in East was part of the Universal Church at the time. But that still would have a different influence in some ways than being part of the Latin Church tended to be.  Vast expanses of territory proved so difficult in the end that, prior to the Great Schism, Constantinople granted Moscow its own seat, making the Eastern Church in Russia self governing.  When the Great Schism came, Russia went with Constantinople, although not to the degree now commonly imagined.  A major part of the Russian Church made an effort to recognize the Bishop of Rome as the head of the Church, but ultimately that effort mostly failed in Russia proper.

All of this means that Russia is a nation that is simply not European the way that other nations West of the Urals on the European Continent are.  It's been subject to repeated invasion to the extent that it is xenophobic.  It's culture owes little to the same influences that other European nations do.  In terms of its primary historic institutions, its leadership, its army, its Church, it does not look towards the same greater influences that other nations do. Even the introduction of European influences, sometimes occasionally wildly in vogue in Russia, have come as quasi-exotic, or have been forced upon the Russians by leaders who saw their advantages.

Okay, so if that's true, so what?

Well, we're having to live with, or put up with, a pretty active Russia right now. And we just don't get it.  It's clear that our last two presidents really don't get it, with this one not getting it to such an extent he probably ought to go sit in the corner and read up on Russia.

Russia is historically an imperial nation in which the Great Russians conceive of themselves as the protectors of the Slavic, and more particularly Orthodox, world in a way that we can't imagine as we haven't seen a power like this since for a very long time, outside of Russia itself.  They feel this way about things in the same way that the Japanese felt about Asia prior to 1945, or perhaps the way that Germans felt that way about all things German up until 1945., although both of these are imperfect analogies.  We would have supposed that the historically brief and failed experiment with Communism from 1917 (or really, for most of Russia, some point in the 1920s) until 1990 would have changed that, but you cannot really change a culture by force in 70 years.  Particularly not a culture that is as strong as the Russian culture is.  Their culture was, to be sure, extremely badly damaged, and the introduction of the virus of Communism lives on as a strain of infection in the culture in a way that we also don't grasp, but Russia re emerged, after the fall of Communism, ultimately as a Russian nation, after a brief experiment at being a European one.

So what does that mean?

Well, it means that the Russian people, outside of two species of dissident, are conservative in a traditional sense, and are not democratic by habit.  They're also Russian Orthodox in outlook, if not all in practice by any means.  They also will unite behind their ethnicity in a way that Europeans cannot even imagine being today.

Even their dissidents are largely Russian in character.   A few are heavily Europeanized, but that has always been the case. We look towards them, justifiably, as the ones who have the most in common with us.  But they're overwhelmingly located in urban centers, and frankly mostly located just in Moscow.  Others are really species of Bolshevik revolutionaries, fire breathers who would tear down everything in society as the extreme leftist of 1917 would have done, but we don't recognize them as such.  When Americans and Europeans cry for members of an all female band as if they're Jeffersonian democrats, we're foolish in the extreme. We're better off looking at them as the latter day kindred spirits of those who went Red deep in 1917 through 1930.

So, in looking toward Russia, we better get over the idea that it's going to become a true liberal democracy any time soon.  It isn't.  And we better get used to the idea that any place it once had imperial rule over, it would like to again.  Ultimately, only the fear that it will go to far in recapturing the Czars lands will keep it from reclaiming what it lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Most problematic over all of that is that anywhere there's a large Russian population, and there is in most of the former Soviet lands, it's going to view itself as having a right to rule, or at least intervene on behalf of Russians.  Simply yapping at the Russians is not going to change that. And the idea that economic sanctions will is stupid.

But that doesn't mean that the  Russians are a new Soviet Empire in the making. They are not.  Looking back to the Czars empire is a better analogy, and Europe was always able to do that.  That will require Europe to resume having a sense of itself, however, which right now it doesn't seem to. And in a way, Russia can do the Europeans a bit of a favor in those regards.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

They had been lawyers. . . lawyers who were notable in other fields.

As those who occasionally stop in here know, the purpose of this blog has been to gather, record and explore information for the purpose of a historical novel I'm theoretically writing.  I have to emphasize theoretically, as I'm not getting much of it done.

Anyhow, I thought I'd make one of the characters a lawyer, although I'm not going to reveal too much of that plot line here.  Given that, I started taking note of well known, or at least somewhat known, characters in history or even in today's world who have been lawyers or whom at least have a close connection with the practice of law.

It's been really surprising, to say the least.  There's a lot of characters who are well known to history, or at least well known in their respective spheres of influence and activity, who fit this definition.  A short discussion of the ones I've found so far is provided below.  Perhaps, as people stop in here, they'll list others the are aware of.

Careers that I generally didn't note.

I should provide the caveat that I generally avoided listing any lawyer who became a politician in this list, but not exclusively so. There are a lot of lawyers who became politicians, or who are politicians, and it's generally not noteworthy, even if they are.  Therefore, for example, I haven't listed an individual such as Abraham Lincoln.  Yes, he was a very great man, but he basically went right from being a lawyer to being a politician. The fact that he remains so widely admired by the public shows that not all lawyers or politicians are scoundrels, but it doesn't fit the qualifiers of this list.

I made an exception, however, if they had occupied some other career prior to their political one.  FDR, for example, had a law degree, but he also had been Assistant Secretary of the Navy prior to that, and his legal career is so buried that it tends not to be noted.  Mitt Romney, the recent unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency, also had a law degree, but never used it, so he's listed.  I thought about listing Barrack Obama, as he's never really practiced law, but did not.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson make the list, even though they were lawyers who became politicians, as they had done other things in between. 

I did list revolutionaries, which are sort of a species of politician, as their revolutionary nature is just different.,  Hence, Lenin and Castro make the list.

Careers that seem to repeat

There are some entries that repeat, in terms of categories, which is interesting in and of itself.

One that notably repeats is that of Christian cleric.  Indeed, there are fair number of saints who had been lawyers or who started off to become lawyers.  No doubt that will spark some mirth, but it makes sense.  Those souls were no doubt highly reflective and intellectual, and their having studied law, or their having practiced it, reflected that.  But their thoughts obviously ranged to other topics, and in the end, they followed those thoughts.

Journalist of various types also reoccurs.  That's not too surprising either, as one thing lawyers do is write.  People either love writing, or they hate it, but it would be natural that a person who likes delving into things and writing would start to want to write about stuff other than cases.

Solder repeats fairly frequently.  I'm not sure what this says, and I also suspect that there's a lot of "learned professions" that would be represented in any similar such list.  At least one well known New Zealand general from World War Two, for example, started off as a dentist.  General Leonard B. Wood was a physician.

Trailing Post

This is a "Trailing Post"   which means that it gets additional entries from time to time, and then gets reposted as a current post. Indeed, that's already happened.  I'll post the dates of new entries, so that people don't have to go back and re-read the entire thing every time that occurs.
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John Abt

John Abt was an acknowledged member of the Communist Party of the USA and represented the American Communist party, along with other radical groups, in his post 1948 legal practice.  The Verona files later revealed that Abt had been involved in espionage to some degree for the Soviet Union.  He'd earlier been revealed by Whitaker Chambers to be a member of the Ware Group, a 1930s vintage Communist cell in Washington D. C.  Prior to his public exposure as a Communist, he'd held various positions in the Federal agencies in the 1930s and 1940s.

Category:  Civil Servant, Spy, Revolutionary.

Date Added:  November 20, 2013.

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John Adams


Adams was a 18th Century polymath who played many parts in life, including that of lawyer.  Adams came from a well to do Massachusetts farming family and studied law early in his life. That lead him to a career as a lawyer, and farmer, both of which he loved.  His legal career was not without controversy, as he undertook those British soldiers who were charged with murder due to the Boston Massacre. 

His career as a lawyer was cut short due to the American Revolution, and he never was able to really return to it.  Playing a prominent role in revolutionary circles, he hoped to become a Continental Army officer, as military affairs were another of his loves.  He was never able to see that wish fulfilled.  He went on to become an American representative to France, and later, of course, President.  Of his various careers, farming was the only one that he was able to engage in throughout his life, so in some ways he's an odd example of somebody who loved the law, but wasn't able to work at it for most of his life.  Indeed, almost all of his professional live can be characterized in that fashion.

Category:  Diplomat.  Civil Servant.  Politician.  Farmer.

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Augustine of Hippo.

Augustine of Hippo is justifiably famous for being one of the Doctors of the Church, a great intellect, and a major philosopher and theologian.   In his early years, however, he lead a much different life.  The North African Saint started off in a field which included law, and therefore was a type of lawyer, before taking up teaching in Rome.  Ultimately becoming a professor of rhetoric in Milan, Italy, he underwent a profound crisis of conscience and converted to Christianity.  Shortly thereafter, he was ordained a Priest, and became a Bishop soon after that.  He was, of course, a major theologian and remains widely read today.

Category:  Teacher, professor, Cleric, Theologian

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Elfego Baca

Baca was a New Mexican born Hispanic who is primarily recalled as a late 19th Century Southwestern gunman.  His principal trade was that of being a lawman, at which he was very effective, but he was admitted to the New Mexico Bar after finishing a term of being a U.S. Marshall.  He practiced off and on, and apparently steadily from 1994 to 1904, being in private practice that entire time.  He also was a county attorney for two seperate New Mexico counties.

In spite of that, being a law man is apparently what he mostly craved, and even after being admitted to the bar he held a set of highly eclectic occupations.  He was a representative of the Mexican government in the US at one time.  He acted as a private detective, and even as a bouncer in Juarez Mexico.  He held public office from time to time, and ran for some offices he did not obtain.  At the time of his death in 1944 he had just completed an unnsecessful campaign to be the Democratic nominee for an upcoming gubenatorial race.

Category:  Politician, law man.

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Arthur Seaforth Blackburn


On the July 23 SMH Today in History Thread:
BLACKBURN Arthur Seaforth:  World War One.  2nd Lieutenant.  Australian Forces  Citation:  On 23 July 1916, at Pozières, heroism in action.

Blackburn was a lawyer from Adelaide who had enlisted as a private in the Australian Army.  He landed at Gallipoli as a scout and received a battlefield commission there.  He resumed military service during World War Two and rose to the rank of general.
I don't really know much about Blackburn, other than that he was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration awarded by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

What's somewhat surprising here is that Blackburn had enlisted as a private.  We'd expect that a man with his education would have entered the service as an officer, but we might be surprised to learn that this wasn't as uncommon as we might suspect.  From 1940 on through the Vietnam War it wasn't too uncommon to conscript lawyers as enlisted men into the U.S. Army. Their education was not regarded as necessarily predisposing them towards being officers and there were more than an ample supply for the JAG Corps.

Category:  Soldier
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John Bodey

John Bodey was an English Catholic in the era in which it was very dangerous to be one.  He studied law in France but returned to his native land as a school teacher.  He'd left it in the first place due to the difficulty in practicing his faith in England, and his return was not to be a long one.  He married upon his return, but was soon arrested and ultimately executed.

Category:  Saint.  Martyr.

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Inez Milholland Boissevain

Boisevain was a noted suffragette who died young in 1916 when she was only 30, after falling suddenly ill.  She was also a lawyer, however, who had applied to, and been rejected by, several significant law schools before  attending New York University.  She was admitted to the bar in 1912, but is mostly remembered to day as a suffragette.


Category:  Political activist.
Date Added:  July 30, 2013.

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Frederick W. Bradshaw

Bradshaw was an attorney from South Carolina who is remembered to history as the man who organized, trained and lead the Alamo Scouts, the 6th Special Reconnaissance Unit, that famously served in New Guinea during World War Two.

Bradshaw entered the service through South Carolina's National Guard, in which he was serving as an officer prior to the war.

Category:  Soldier

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Herbert J. Brees


Residents of Laramie Wyoming might recognize this name in the form of the name that until fairly recently applied to their airport, Brees Field.  Brees Field was named for Herbert J. Brees.

Brees was born in Laramie in 1877, when it was still a frontier town.  He group there and attended the University of Wyoming, graduating in 1897 and joined the 2nd U.S. Volunteers as  2nd Lieutenant in 1898, during the Spanish American War.  Later that year he transferred to the Regular Army.  He served initially in the artillery after joining the regular Army, but thereafter served principally in the cavalry branch until his retirement in 1941. One of this last roles in the Army was as the Chief Controller for the Louisiana Maneuvers.  He obtained a LLD in 1939.  At the time of his retirement he was a Lt. General.

Category:  Soldier

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St. John of Capistrano

Prior to being a cleric St. John of Capistrano studied law.  He moved into a political position, as is not uncommon for lawyers, being appointed the Governor of Perugia by the King of Naples.  He was, in that position, taken prisoner during a regional war and while a prisoner he began to study theology.  Upon his release he became a Franciscan Friar.

Category:  Roman Catholic Priest.

Date added:  October 28, 2013. 

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Henry B. Carrington


Henry B. Carrington is remembered in history for being in command at Ft. Phil Kearney at  the time of the disastrous Fetterman  battle, and his anemic command abilities combined with Fetterman's insubordination are often credited with causing the disaster.  Like Custer's 1876 commander, Alfred Terry, Carrington was a graduate of Yale Law School and had practiced in Ohio.  He entered the Army during the Civil War and mostly served in administrative roles with Ohio troops.  The Fetterman disaster ruined his military career and he subsequently went on to be a teacher at the university level, and civil servant and an author.

Category:  Soldier, Author, Educator, Civil Servant

Date Added:  April 6, 2014
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Howard (Hoagy) Carmichael

Songwriter, singer and actor Hoagy Carmichael was a 1926 graduate of Indiana University College of Law, but was writing music within a year of passing the bar.  He quit practicing law by 1930.

Category:  Songwriter, Singer, Actor

Date Added:  April 12, 2014

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Fidel Castro



Castro joins some other famous Communists in having been lawyers. . . not sure what to say about that.  Anyhow, he was a graduate of the University of Havana and a partner in the firm of  Azpiazo, Castro & Resende. Really.

Category:  Radical politician.  Revolutionary.
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Cajetan (Gaetano)

An Italian born lawyer who graduated with a law degree from the university at Padua at age 24, he left the law and was ordained a Priest and became an influential figure in that role.  He was a reformer prior to the Reformation.

Category:  Saint.  Cleric.
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John Cleese

British funny man John Cleese has a law degree from Cambridge but has never practiced law.  I guess he decided to do "something completely different."

Category:  Actor
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Robert W. Cook

Robert W. Cook was a Denver lawyer who left the practice of law to become a Catholic priest, and as a priest became the first President of the Wyoming Catholic College.


Category:  Cleric, Educator.
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Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro

Cortes is known for being the Spanish conqueror of Mexico.  But he had a legal education and his family had hoped he'd practice law.

Category:  Soldier
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Howard Cosell

Howard Cosell is instantly recalled by anyone of a certain age as being the emblematic sportscaster, and the comic foil, with his own cooperation, for Mohammed Ali. But prior to that, he was a lawyer, being a graduate of the NYU School of Law.

Cosell actually became a lawyer as he thought it would make his parents proud and he passed the New York bar, a difficult bar to pass, in 1941.  His career was immediately interrupted by World War Two, however, during which he was a Transportation Corps officer.  He resumed his practice after the war but gave it up in the mid 1950s when he started doing some sports broadcasts locally, was good at it, and was offered a job with ABC.

Category:  Broadcast journalist.

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Ann Coulter

Firebrand conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter is a 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and served as the editor of its law review while attending there.  After law school she worked as a judicial law clerk for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, a distinguished clerkship.  She thereafter entered private practice and then went on to work as a lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee. She switched to journalism in the mid 1990s.

Category:  Political Commentator.  Author.

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Jubal Early

Early was a West Point graduate who served in the Regular Army only briefly before leaving it to practice law.  He came back into the U.S. Army during the Mexican War, but became famous for his effective service to the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  Early was a Confederate diehard whose effective generalship is considered by some to have extended the war by six months.  After the war, he returned to practicing law, but he remained an ardent and outspoken Confederate and held extremely racists views.  He was one of the authors of the Southern romantic "Lost Cause" view of the Civil War.
Category:  Rebel.  Soldier.  Author.

Dated added:  June 15, 2013.
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 Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Fidelis of Signaringen was born Mark Rey in 1577 in Sigmarigen, Germany.  Always very religious, he started off his adult years as a student of law and lecturer, ultimately becoming a courtroom lawyer, where his inclinations lead him to be an advocate for poor clients.  His courtroom conduct was noted to be beyond exemplary, as he eschewed everything associated with invective behavior as a lawyer.

Nonetheless, his piety caused him to be uncomfortable with the law, and he grew increasingly uncomfortable with what he saw as the evils associated with the profession.  He therefore became a Capuchin friar.  He was murdered by Calvinist soldiers in 1622, exhorting God to forgive his attackers.

Category:  Cleric.

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René Descartes

Descartes is remembered today as a philosopher, but in his early adult life he studied law and obtained license to practice.  It was his father's desire that he be a lawyer, a career he did not pursue.

Category:  Philosopher.  Solder.

Date Added:  April 12, 2014.

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Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales was a 16th and 17th Century Frenchman who studied law and theology at the university at Padua, Italy.  Highly intelligent and very sensitive, he struggled with his direction as a student but had committed himself to a religious vocation by the time he graduated university, in spite of having a tailor made career, wealth, and an advantageous marriage all set at his feet by his father, who wished for a legal and political career for his son.  Instead, he became a devoted Priest and then Bishop, and is remembered today for his very effective and surprisingly modern writing style.  He remains widely read today and is regarded as the Patron Saint of Writers.

Category:  Saint.  Cleric.  Author.
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John Foster Dulles


Senator, and more famously Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, was, before that, a practicing lawyer with the New York firm of Sullivan & Cromwell.  Still somewhat of a controversial Secretary of State, Dulles was aggressive in his opposition to Communism and was one of the very few Secretary of States to be open about his Christian world view.  He was a George Washington Law School Graduate.

Category:  Politician, Civil Servant, Diplomat

Date Added:  February 21, 2014

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Gandhi.

Yes, that's right. Gandhi was a graduate of University College London and passed the bar in 1891.  He returned to Bombay to practice, but found he was so shy, he couldn't speak in court.

Category:  Politician.  Revolutionary.
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Earl Stanley Gardner

Gardner was the author of the Perry Mason novels.  He started practicing law in 1911, quitting for five years to run a sales agency, and then returned to law until his writing career took off.  When that occurred, he devoted his full time to writing. Gardner liked doing trial work, but found much of the rest of the practice of law boring.

Category:  Writer

Date Added:  April 12, 2014.

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Rupprecht Gerngroß

Gerngroß is a truly enigmatic figure.  Elsewhere on this list there are several German lawyers who were members of the July 20, 1944 plot against Hitler, although not every lawyer in the plot has been listed, due to this list's criteria.  Gerngroß is unique, however, in that he sponsored his own plot very late in the war which was wholly unconnected with the much larger, and earlier, July 20 plot.

Gerngroß was born in China to German parents who returned to Germany following World War One.  Of military age, he was a volunteer in the German Army in which he served as a communications officer.  At the same time he managed to attend law school and graduated while still serving in the German Army.  Having become disillusioned with the Nazis, he gathered together a circle of plotters who rose up extraordinary late in the warHe was only a captain at the time, and therefore he was also remarkable in that his position in a rebellion did not match that of the higher ranking officers who were involved in the July 20 plot.

Category:  Revolutionary.

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Mikhail Gorbachev

The Soviet Union's last leader, and the man who can be credited with helping shepherd the country out of Communism, started off to be a practicing Soviet lawyer.  Always of a somewhat questioning mind, he ran some risks with his views as a student during Stalin's last year. During that time period the Soviet Union banned new lawyers from being prosecutors, so Gorbachev went into Soviet politics and administration instead.

Category:  Politician.  Civil Servant.
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Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greewald is columnist who has written for the British newspaper The Guardian and for Salon.  He's been associated with the Edward Snowden story.

He is also a 1994 graduate of NYU's law school, and practiced as a trial lawyer for several years before evolving into a jounralist.

Category:  Journalist

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Võ Nguyên Giáp

Giap is famous for being the Viet Minh, and then the North Vietnamese, military leader who is sometimes credited with the Viet Minh's strategy in combating the French in Indochina and with North Vietnam's strategy against the US during the Vietnam War.

He also studied law and graduated with a degree in law form the University of Hanoi in 1938.  He may not have passed his bar exam, however, and therefore never practiced.

Category:  Soldier, Revolutionary, Teacher

Date Added:  February 5, 2014

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John Grisham, Jr

Grisham is the author of a popular series of novels all involving lawyer.  He gave up practicing law upon becoming a successful author.

Category:  author.

Date Added:  May 29, 2013.
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Savannah Guthrie

Guthrie is the new Today Show co-anchor, which is no doubt how she's likely to be remembered from here on out.  She is, however, also a lawyer with a 2002 JD from Georgetown University.  Having said that, however, she was already working as a broadcast journalist prior to that and continued to occupy that role, somewhat, while in law school.  She practiced law from 2002 to 2008, after which she went back into journalism, a career switch which she seems unlikely to return.

Category:  Broadcast journalist.
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John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin is a character known to every student of the American West.  He was the son of solid American stock, descending from characters who played significant roles in the American Revolution.  However, he was involved early in life in violence, not necessarily by his own fault, and took to a violent lifestyle.  This ultimately lead to prison, where he studied law, and upon his release, he took the Texas state bar.  
Hardin probably doesn't belong on this list, as he didn't leave the law to take up something else, but became something else due to his early, criminal, career.  But I've noted him here anyhow as his violent life was not something he was able to escape. Even after becoming a lawyer he was involved in one negligent homicide and he died when an argument turned violent and he was outdrawn.

Category:  Criminal.

Date Added:  May 27, 2013.
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Alger Hiss

Alger Hiss was a Harvard educated lawyer who made a career in government service in the 1930s and 1940s.  He rose in government service to a fairly prominent, if not publicly prominent, position in the State Department and was present at the Yalta Conference and involved in late World War Two and post war activities that were of great significance. 

His is remembered, however, as his name broke into the public when Time magazine editor Whitaker Chambers revealed Hiss to be a member of a 1930s era Communist cell of which Chambers had also been a member.  This resulted in two legal and has remained an enduring controversy, with Hiss having defenders to this day.  The better evidence seems to support Chamber's accusations that Hiss was an underground Communist and involved in espionage.  Hiss denied the accusations until his death and was active in trying to get records from the Eastern block to support his position.  He was tried and convicted of perjury, served three years of a five year sentence, and lost his license to practice law.  He ultimately had his license restored by the Massachusetts State Bar late in his life.

In spite of his supporters, it should be noted that Chambers had indicated that Hiss was a Communist as early as 1939 and 1942 and that there were at least to other sources that implicated Hiss as a Communist agent prior to Chamber's 1948 testimony.

Category:  Civil Servant.  Probably Revolutionary and Spy.

Date Added:  November 20, 2013.

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Ives of Kermartin

Ives was the son of a noble family who studied law at the University of Paris, and following that went on to study Canon LawHe took Holy Orders and went on to be a significant parish priest in his diocese.  His tomb was marked in his praise with Sanctus Ivo erat Brito, Advocatus et non latro, Res miranda populo.  He is a Patron Saint of lawyers.

Category:  Cleric

Date added:  August 1, 2013.

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James the Merciful (James the Almsgiver)

This 7th Century saint had been a wealthy married lawyer but suffered early tragedy when his spouse and children died.  He left his legal career to take Holy Orders and was noted as a very merciful and generous Saint.

Category:  Saint.  Cleric.

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Washington Irving.


The famed early American writer was a lawyer, having passed the bar, but as far as I know, his legal career was either brief, or non existant.

Category:  Author.

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Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory", is remembered for being the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, the War of 1812 battle the U.S. actually won, even though the war was actually over at the time (the combatants weren't aware that peace had been reached), and then President of the United States, but he was also a practicing lawyer.

Jackson had lived a very rough and ready life in his native state of Tennessee and worked a variety of professions before being admitted to the bar in 1787.  Even while practicing he engaged in other occupations, including being a "planter", a type of large scale (slave owning) farmer.  He was also a militia officer, and in that role he rose to prominence due to the Battle of New Orleans, which later gave him sufficient national fame to allow him to convert the fame into a successful run for the Presidency.

Category:  Farmer, Soldier, Politician

Date Added:  January 25, 2014

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Jamie Jeffers

Jamie Jeffers is an attorney in Oregon who lost his associate's position in the Great Recession of the late 2000s.  Indeed, that economic event proved to be extremely hard on attorneys in the United States in many localities and there has been a great deal of speculation as to whether or not the attorney draw downs reflected merely the economic crisis or rather reflect a deep and permanent shift in the position of lawyers in the United States.

Whatever the case may be, Jeffers started using his free time to become a blogger on British History.  At some point he determined to make that his full time occupation, and has done so.

Category:  Historian.

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Thomas Jefferson

The revered but enigmatic Jefferson stands in contrast to the nearly as revered and less  enigmatic John Adams, with whom he shared an interrupted friendship and bizarrely coincident life.  Both were lawyers, but unlike Adams, Jefferson did not like the profession and did not practice at it.

Otherwise defining Jefferson's career path would be difficult.  In some ways he simply did everything.  He was a farmer of the planter class, in terms of occupation, more than anything else, but he was also, of course, a politician and diplomat.  And, he was an inventor.

Category:  Politician. Diplomat.  Inventor.

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Star Jones

Star Jones is yet another current broadcast journalist, or figure, who started off as a lawyer.  Having been recruited in 1991 to offer commentary on the William Kennedy Smith trial, she has been in her second career from that point in time.

Category:  Broadcast journalist.

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Franz Kafka

Writer Franz Kafka was a lawyer by training, and found early work for an Italian insurance company in that capacity.

Category:  Writer

Date Added:  April 12, 2014

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Francis Scott Key

Key, the author of The Star Spangled Banner, was an attorney whose main occupation was that.

Category:  Poet, Songwriter

Date Added:  April 12, 2014

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Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov


Yes, the big commie was a lawyer by training.  I don't think Lenin actually ever practiced, however.  He was a flaming radical from day one, so his law degree didn't even receive the same workout as Castro's. There was, therefore, no Lenin, Smith & Jones PC.

Category:  Radical politician.  Revolutionary.  Sponsor of Genocide.

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Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Alphonsus Maria de Liguori was an Italian lawyer who achieved a certain measure of fame in that profession.  Nonetheless, he was troubled by the occupation and related to a friend  "My friend, our profession is too full of difficulties and dangers; we lead an unhappy life and run risk of dying an unhappy death. For myself, I will quit this career, which does not suit me; for I wish to secure the salvation of my soul."  This is an interesting comment in that it could almost read like the comments of many unhappy lawyers today that are occasionally discussed in the ABA Journal or state bar association journals.

De Liguori did indeed leave the profession and became a Priest and then ultimately a Bishop.  He was the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.  He suffered from scrupulosity for much of his life, although he saw that affliction as a blessing  in that he regarded it as having focused him on his conversion.

In some ways, I think this particular saint is one that lawyers should particularly take note of.  He was a courtroom lawyer, but what caused him to abandon the law is the conditions that still afflict the law.  Lawyers tend to forget the pain they inflict on average people, and come to view it as excused by the existence of their profession. But the pain is real, and that shouldn't be ignored.  It's far too easy to be callous to that fact.  This saint, however, seems to have become extremely sensitive to it, so much so that he left the law.

Category:  Cleric. Saint.
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Robert W. Mackay

Robert W. Mackay is a Canadian author who has written a novel concerning the Canadian cavalry during World War One, loosely based on his father's experiences.  In addition, however, Mr. Mackay has been in the Canadian navy and he was a rancher.  He was also a lawyer.


Category:  Author.

Date Added:  May 29, 2013. 
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Archibald MacLeish

Archibald MacLeish was a polymath who started off practicing law in Illinois, but over his career was a writer, soldier and Librarian of Congress.

Category: Writer, Soldier, Civil Servant

Date Added:  April 12, 2014

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is remembered as a campaigner for full equality for blacks in South Africa, but he started off as a South African lawyer.  He was born into Thembu nobility and started off towards a career as being a tribal adviser.  Given that, he pursued a law degree and entered practice in the 1940s. Already active in the racial struggle in the region, he still found time to open his own practice in 1953.  He rose to leadership of the African National Congress in the 1960s and ultimately came around to supporting violence in its goals, which lead to his arrest and imprisonment.  After release from prison he resumed his efforts without violence and became President of South African in 1994.

Category:  Activist.  Revolutionary.  Politician.

Date Added:  November 7, 2013.

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Ruth Marcus

Marcus is a columnist for the Washington Post, and is well known in that role, which she has occupied since 1984.  She graduated from Yale with a degree in journalism and went to work for the National Law Journal, which lead her to attending law school.  While attending Harvard Law School she went to work for the Washington Post, where she has remained. She graduated from Harvard Law in 1985, but she's never practiced law.

Marcus is the author  of one really fine example of career advice, that being "there are no mistakes under 30."  That is, she feels people have absolute liberty to follow career tracks or goals that they later abandon while in that age bracket.  With certain limits being implied, I agree with that.

Category:  Journalist

Date Added:  June 12, 2013.
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Robert R. McCormick


Robert R. McCormick was a legendary newspaper publisher, and the owner of the Chicago Tribune. Today, to the extent he's remembered (and in the publishing industry, he is remembered) that's what he's remembered for. But, McCormick was a graduate of the Northwestern School of Law, which he attended following his graduation from Yale.  He practiced law for three years before moving over to the Tribune.

McCormick was from a wealthy family and it's hard to tell if he had any actual interest in the law, even though during the short period of time in which he practiced he was the founder of a firm.  His real loves seemed to have been the newspaper industry, and more particularly the Army.  Even though he wasn't a career soldier, he was a prewar Illionois National Guard cavalry officer and a WWI artillery officer.  The Pritzer Military Libary was founded and endowed by the McCormick foundation, which remembers him as Col. Robert R. McCormick.

Category:  Correspondent, Publisher, Soldier

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Brett McKay

McKay is a lawyer who started writing about the Art of Manliness while still a law student. Realizing shortly after graduating from law that he didn't care to practice, he converted his blog into a full time job, which now grosses well into the six figures annually.

Category:  Author
Date added:  May 30, 2013.

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Roche S. Mentzer

Roche S. Mentzer was a Cheyenne lawyer who was from a family of lawyers.  A near relative of his (I'm not sure if it was a father or brother) was a judge in Cheyenne.  Mentzer was also a significant legislator in the 1920s and early 1930s.
Mentzer is remembered, however, as being the commander of the 115th Cavalry Regiment, Wyoming National Guard, in the 1920s and early 1930s.  It was while serving in that capacity that he tragically passed away, on July 10, 1933, while the unit was on a very extended mounted march.  Mentzer fell ill in the Snowy Range and then died of a heart attack. The unit memorialized him with a rock cairn in Fox Park, although I do not know if it still remains.

Category:  Soldier.

Date added:  July 11, 2013
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John Singleton Mosby

Famous for his role as a Confederate partisan ranger commander, Mosby was a Virginia lawyer. After the war Mosby, who personally opposed succession, resumed practice but also was active in Republican politics.  He practiced law in a number of occasions, and was sometimes a lawyer for the Federal government.

Category:  Soldier

Date added:  August 10, 2013.

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Ralph Nader

Activist Ralph Nader is a 1958 graduate of Harvard Law School, and did practice law in Hartford Connecticut in the early 1960s.

Category:  Activist

Date Added:  April 12, 2014

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Jawaharlal Nehru

Nehru is remembered as the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in the movement for Indian independence.   He was also a barrister, a trial lawyer having been admitted to the English bar in 1912.

Category:  Politician.  Revolutionary.

Date added:  February 21, 2014

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Oswald "Ozzie" Nelson

Nelson had a long career as an entertainer, starting off as musician and then becoming an actor, but he was also a graduate of Rutger's law school.

Category:  Musician.  Entertainer.  Actor.

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Edgar Wilson "Bill" Nye


Bill Nye was a very widely read and famous humorist in the late 19th Century.  He was also, however, a lawyer, or had been.  He had "read the law" (i.e., studied independently and took the bar)  and was admitted to practice in Wyoming, where he had relocated to, in 1876.  He was never able to find sufficient work as a lawyer, however, and he worked a variety of jobs, including being the postmaster of Laramie, Wyoming.  After his writing career took off, his legal career ended.  He died at only age 45 of meningitis.

Category:  Journalist.  Civil Servant.  Humorist.  Author.

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William Owen "Buckey" O'Neill


William "Buckey" O'Neill was a Missouri born son of Irish immigrants who attended and graduated from the National Law School in Washington D. C. He thereafter took the Civil Service exam and briefly worked as a civil servant for the Navy.  He didn't feel office work suited him, however, and he soon left that position for the frontier of Arizona, where he occupied a variety of positions, starting off as a newspaper man, but then becoming a judge, and then switching to the position of sheriff.  He's famous, however, for leaving that position in order to join the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, the famous Rough Riders, in which he was killed while exposing himself to fire in Cuba.  He was fondly remembered by that unit and was widely regarded as heroic.

Interestingly, quotes attributed to him are usually delivered in a folksy style, but he was actually a very well educated East Coast American, so if they're accurate, he acquired that speaking style after he relocated to Arizona.

Category:  Civil Servant.  Journalist.  Law Enforcement Officer.  Soldier.
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Steve Pastis

Steve Pastis was a tort lawyer, working for the defense, but didn't care of the anxiety it produced and the adversarial nature of the work.  A fan of cartoons since he was a child, he began to work on his cartoons while still working as lawyer.  He ultimately transitioned completely over to law by 2002, and draws Pearls Before Swine.

Category:  Cartoonist.

Date added:  May 29, 2013.
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Paulinus of Nola.

This French born 4th and 5th Century Roman Senator and lawyer  left a lucrative public career to take Holy Orders after converting to Catholicism and renouncing his wealth.

Category:  Cleric.  Saint.
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Charles Perrault

Perrault is remembered today as the author of the Tales of Mother Goose. But he spent most of his career as an aid to his brother, who was an architect.  Be that as it may, he was first a lawyer.

Category:  Author.  Architect's Assistant.
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John J. Pershing


Pershing is famous for being the second highest ranking general in U.S. history, having been promoted to the rank of General of the Armies during World War One (just below a theoretically higher, by act of Congress, rank posthumously conveyed upon George Washington).  During World War Two the "five star" generals were only holding the rank of General of the Army, just below a still living Pershing.

But Pershing also held a law degree, something that's little known about him.  He acquired it while an instructor in military science at the University of Nebraska, where he was posted by the Army at the time.  He obtained the degree in 1893.  Prior to going to West Point Pershing had been a school teacher, and the Army paid very little at the time, so he apparently had some thoughts of leaving the service, but of course, he did not.

Category:  Soldier.

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Lee Pressman

Lee Pressman was a Harvard educated lawyer who is remembered today for being a member of the secret Communist Ware Group.  Pressman served as a lawyer for the U.S. government in the early 1930s before going on to private practice, in which he represented the CIO.  He was one of the Communists exposed by Whitaker Chambers and he admitted that he had been a Communist in the 1934-35 time frame.  After the release of Soviet files  his involvement in assisting the Communist underground movement exposed by Chambers proved to be more extensive than Pressman had been willing to publicly admit, even though over time Pressman himself had conceded elements of the story that validated Chamber's accounts.

Category:  Revolutionary

Date added:  November 20, 2013.
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 John A. Quitman

Quitman was an eccentric who started off as a lawyer in Ohio and Mississippi, but only briefly.  He went on to be a politician and planter, and a general during the Mexican War.  After the war he served as governor of Mississippi, dieing of National Hotel Disease at age 58.

Category:  Soldier.  Politician.

Date added:  August 10, 2013.

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John A. Rawlins

Rawlins was an Illinois born lawyer who had been practicing there since 1854 when he met U. S. Grant, while Grant was raising a unit in 1861 from Galena, Illinois.  At first an officer in the Illinois volunteers Rawlins became a member of the Regular Army at Grant's request.  Rawlins served as a staff officer, a position in which he was very capable, rising to the rank of Brigadier General.  After the war, he became Grant's Secretary of War.  During this period he contracted tuberculosis, and his loyalty to Grant was so strong that he declined to relocate to  Arizona which his doctors recommended..  He died in 1869.

Rawlins was intensely loyal to Grant, who relied on him enormously during the war, but Grant oddly mentioned him hardly at all when he wrote his autobiography and he was not at Rawlins' bedside at the time of his death.  Speculation has been made that this was because Rawlins had been such a guardian of Grant's reputation that in his later years Grant was embarrassed by that and did not wish to emphasize it.

 Rawlins during the Civil War with his family.

Category:  Soldier
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Geraldo Rivera.

Like Castro, or Lenin, I feel less than enthusiastic about noting Rivera's first career, but he was in fact a lawyer, having graduated with high marks from Brooklyn Law School in 1969.  He caught the eye of local broadcasters who liked his style, and his lucrative career, doing whatever it is that he does, took off.

Category:  Broadcast Journalist.
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 Phil Roberts

Phil Roberts is a history professor at the University of Wyoming and an author on Wyoming history topics.  He's also a graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law who was admitted to the state's bar in 1977.

Category:  Historian.  Educator.  Author.

Date Added: November 7, 2013.

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Manfred Rommel

The son of the legendary World War Two German field marshal, who was himself drafted at age 14 into the Luftwaffe in order to serve as an anti aircraft gunner, attended law school post war and became the long serving mayor of Stuttgart.  He declined to run for higher office in Germany, in spite of his popularity, declaring that he was not an ambitious man.

Category:  Politician

Date Added:  November 11, 2013

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Willard Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is a graduate of a Harvard program which conferred a joint MBA/JD.  He never worked as a lawyer, however, having had a career in business and politics.

Category:  Businessman, Politician 

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 A young Franklin Roosevelt.

FDR is famously remembered as the only four term President the United States has ever had, the President during most of the Great Depression, and the President for almost all of World War Two.

He also attended Columbia Law School from 1904 to 1907, dropping out after he passed the difficult New York Bar.  He worked as a lawyer for a period of time thereafter but left the law forever when he became Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913.

Category:  Politician.
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Theodore Roosevelt

 Theodore Roosevelt in 1911.

I probably ought not to include Theodore  Roosevelt in this category, but I will note that after he graduated from Harvard he attended Columbia Law School from 1880 to 1882.  Like his cousin Franklin Roosevelt, he did not graduate.

Part of the reason that I have included him here is that the requirement of law school attendance in order to become a lawyer did not exist at that time, and is actually a fairly recent requirement.  "Reading the law" was the norm for decades, which is how such figures as Abraham Lincoln became lawyers. They studied law on their own and took the bar, or moved for admission to the bar.  Law schools have been around for quite awhile, but now simply having graduated from law school generally means that the general public regards a person as a lawyer, whether or not they took the bar.

In Theodore Roosevelt's day, as with Franklin Roosevelt's day, having attended law school would have been a preparatory and associative advantage, but not a requirement for taking the bar.  To become a lawyer, you had to pass the bar. Franklin Roosevelt did that, Theodore Roosevelt did not.  TR simply left law school and did not return, his having gone into it in the first place having been an occupational diversion which was probably caused by family pressures about the young newly married TR being able to make a living.  However, in modern terms, his two years of law school would nearly equate with graduating from one, and in his own time would have conferred upon him a fairly typical status for a person intending to take the bar. If TR had desired to take the bar, he would have been fully qualified to do so. Therefore, we're including him here.

Category:  Rancher, Writer, Soldier, Politician.
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Charlie Rose

Television journalist Charlie Rose graduated from Duke's college of law in 1968 and worked until the early 1970s as a lawyer for Banker's Trust.

Category:  Journalist.

Date Added:  April 12, 2014.

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Allen Rosenberg

Allen Rosenberg was an attorney and Civil Servant in the 1930s and 1940s whose name appears in the Verona Files and who is implicated as having been a Soviet spy during World War Two.  He was never charged with espionage.

Category:  Civil Servant, Spy.

Date Added:  November 20, 2013.

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Salvius of Albi

This 6th Century saint was originally a lawyer but became a Monk and then a Bishop.

Category:  Cleric.  Saint.
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Satyrus of Milan

Saint Satyrus of Milan had a career as a lawyer and Roman prefect before taking Holy Orders.  I do not know a great deal about this 4th Century saint otherwise.

Category:  Cleric.  Saint.

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Charles H. Sherrill

 Sherrill leading a preparedness parade in World War One, prior to the advent of the American entry into the war.

Sherrill was the U.S. Minister to Argentina in the Taft Administration and later the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey in the 1920s.  In the 1920s and 30s, reflecting an athletic youth, he was on the International Olympic Commission.  He was also a lawyer in New York City, when not otherwise serving in the capacities noted.  He was the Adjutant General of the New York National Guard during World War One.

Sherrill threatened the Nazi Germans with a lack of support for their Olympic games over oppression of German Jews, but he later became one of those individuals who was impressed with both Hitler and Mussolini, being blind to the oppression of fascism and instead impressed with what seemed to be the efficiency of those regimes, a naive erroneous impression that wasn't entirely uncommon on the political right at that time, just as being impressed with Stalin's Soviet Union wasn't uncommon in the political left.

Category:  Ambassador, Soldier, Athelete

Date added:  February 14, 2014.
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Will Shortz

The famous "puzzlemaster" has never practiced law, but he has a 1977 JD from the University of Virginia.

Category:  Specialized Journalist.

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W. Morgan Shuster 

Shuster was a New York City lawyer who also occupied a collection of civil servant roles.  That experience lead to an appointment to the Iranian government in Iran where he became the Treasurer General of the country. British and Russian opposition to his appointment ultimately caused his forced resignation, after which he wrote the book The Strangling of Persia to condemn British and Russian roles in that country.  He then turned to publishing and was successful at that as well.

 Category:   Civil Servant.  Author.  Publisher.

Date added:  August 8, 2013.

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Persifor Frazer Smith

Smith was a successful New Orleans lawyer who entered the Army, through the Militia, during the Mexican War and stayed in it thereafter.  He was California's last military governor.

Category:  Soldier

Date added:  August 10, 2013.

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Ben Stein

Ben Stein is, by all accounts, a genius from a family of geniuses. The economist was also the valedictorian of Yale's 1970 law school class.  Stein is eclectic in the extreme, and may be one of the few on this list who is actually widely known to have occupied a variety of careers.  He came to the public's attention as the dry teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Category:  Economist.  Actor.  Author.
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James B. Stewart 

Stewart is a writer for the New Yorker, but he's also a Harvard Law School graduate who worked as an associate for a New York firm in the 1970s.  Stewart states that he realized that the law wasn't for him when it occurred to him that all the partners in his firm loved the law, whereas he only enjoyed his work.

Category:  Writer

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Wanda Stopa

Stopa was a brilliant Chicagoan of Polish extraction who achieved the status of Assistant U.S. District Attorney in that town in the early 1920s, a phenomenal achievement for a woman of that time. 

Perhaps a little too much of a woman of her (young) age, however, she married a Russian ex patriot count but engaged in an affair with a rich advertising executive.  Wishing to divorce her husband and marry the executive, she was unsuccessful in advancing her plea to him to leave his wife, so she went to shoot him.  She's remembered today for missing a shot at the executive's ailing wife, hitting instead a gardener, who was killed by the shot.

Category:  Murderer.  Socialite.

Date added:  November 2, 2013.

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Jerry Springer

I feel even less enthusiastic about Springer than I do about Rivera, but there you go. The television personality has been a politician and is a 1968 graduate of Northwestern.  I'm sorry to say that I don't find his law degree to be a surprise, as his presentation resembles that of certain attorneys really.

Category:  Politician.  Broadcast Personality.
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George Templeton Strong


Strong was a well known New York lawyer and professor of law who also started writing a diary at age 15.  He wrote in it nearly every day, and the work, discovered in the 1930s, is a significant first hand account to events of his era.  A significant and wealthy lawyer in his day, today its his journal, started at age 15, for which he is remembered.

Category:  Private Journalist

Date Added:  August 15, 2013 

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Kevin Stroud

Stroud, like Jamie Jeffers, is a lawyer who has made a public name for himself as a blogger on a topic involving English history, albeit in his case, on the history of the English language.  Unlike Jeffers, he remains in practice, but he is included here as his public name, at least to the extent I'm aware of it, has been in blogging on this topic with a very in depth treatment of the same.


Category:  Historian

Date added:  May 29, 2013.
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Theodor Strünck 

Theodore Strunck was a German lawyer who became the director of an insurance company for which he was in house counsel.  That isn't particularly remarkable and is actually a fairly typical career path for in house lawyers. What is remarkable, however, is that he was one of several lawyers who took part in the July 20, 1944, effort to overthrow Hitler, for which he paid with his life.

Category:  Business executive.  Revolutionary.
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Theophilus Scholasticus

I know almost nothing about Theophilus other than that he was an early Christian Martyr.  He must have been a scholarly man, due to his title Scholasticus and he was known as "the lawyer."  Based on that, we can assume that this early Christian martyr was a lawyer.

Category:  Saint.

Date Added:  August 1, 2013.

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Alfred Terry





General Alfred Terry is most famously recalled for being George A. Custer's commander in 1876, and having given Custer somewhat ambiguous field instructions when Custer's command detached from the main body of Terry's expedition.  But prior to that he had graduated from Yale's College of Law and had Clerk of the Superior Court of New Haven County, Connecticut.  He entered military service during the Civil War and remained in the Army after the war.

Because he was a lawyer, some have accused his somewhat vague instructions to Custer as being intentional, so that he could disavow any disaster and take credit for any success, but that's almost certainly untrue, and his instructions simply reflected field conditions.

Category:  Soldier

Date Added:  April 6, 2014

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James Francis Thomas

Thomas was an odd character with an odd story, who is mostly remembered today as being the military advocate assigned to defend Harry Morant and his fellows in their famous Boer War court martial.  He's universally regarded as having given them a brilliant and effective defense, but he of course lost the case none the less (and perhaps should have).  Be that as it may, that's what Thomas is remembered for today.

Thomas was a New South Wales Town and Country Solictor, however, while not soldiering.  He was occupying that position when he volunteered to serve with those forces being raised in Australia during the Boer War.  He was an effective combat officer, and saw some harrowing service in the Boer War.  He was embittered, however, with his experiences in regards to the Morant court martial, and participated in the the writing of Scapegoat of the Empire by one of the surviving defendants.  He also owned an interest in a newspaper at this time. 

The publication of the book seems to have lead directly to a long decline after the Boer War, or perhaps more accurately it was part of the process that began with the Morant trial. At the time of the book's publication Thomas still held a commission in the Australian army, which he resigned due to some controversy with the army regarding the book.  He began to limit his activities more and more, and practice law less and less.  He seems to have had trouble financially which resulted, in part, from over-sympathizing with his client's plights, making his choice of law as a career a bad one.  He even ended up a defendant in a suit by one of his former clients regarding his handling of her financial affiards, and he essentially refused to defend himself.  This lead to his disbarment in the late 1920s.  He speant the remainder of his life eeking out a living offering quasi legal services, dieing in 1946 at age 81, on a property outside of the town of his residence, where he had asked to be taken.

His inclusion in this list is probably questionable.  Unlike the other personalities listed here, Thomas never really fully quit practicing law.  But much of his early life was spent being a soldier, with perhaps the rest of his life spent dealing with its consequences.  Technically the last 17 years of his life were spent outside the profession, as he had been disbarred.  He is a heroic, tragic, figure.

Category:  Soldier. 
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Scott Turow

Author Scott Turow is a lawyer who worked in the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago from 1978 until 1986.

Category:  Author.

Date Added:  April 12, 2014.

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Hiram Tuttle

Hiram Tuttle was a Boston lawyer from a family of lawyers.  But what he's remembered for is being a legendary Army equestrian who twice medaled in the Olympics.   Largely self taught as a horseman, Tuttle entered the Regular Army as a career officer after World War One.

Tuttle Riding:
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN08000/RUN08000/RUN08091.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN08000/RUN08000/RUN08090.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN08000/RUN08000/RUN08087.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN08000/RUN08000/RUN08085.JPG

Tuttle and his horse:
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01120.JPG

Tuttle going down an embankment:
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01128.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01125.JPG

Tuttle jumping, October 1920:
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01123.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01121.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01127.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN08000/RUN08000/RUN08092.JPG

Tuttle's Horse
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01126.JPG
http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/r/RUN01000/RUN01100/RUN01124.JPG

Category:  Soldier.  Olympian.

Date added:  July 28, 2013.
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Woodrow Wilson


There have, of course, been a variety of lawyers who have been President and I've generally omitted politicians unless there was some other reason to include them. That exception is why I've included Woodrow Wilson here.

Wilson is generally remembered for his academic career prior to being a politician, but he was also a lawyer.  He only attended law school for one year, but that did not hinder a person from taking the bar at the time.  He passed the Georgia bar, but only practiced for a little over one year.  Wilson was, of course a reform politician, and once quipped; "I used to be a lawyer, but now I am a reformed character."

Category:  Education.  Politician.

Date added:  May 29, 2013.

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Owen Wister.



Wister is famously remembered for being the author of the novel The Virginian.  But, before that he was a Harvard educated lawyer.

He didn't like it much, however, and never really wanted to be one.  It was due to his father's urgings that he pursued that career, but only briefly.  Once he bagan to write, he left he law behind.  Wister, it should be noted, didn't stop writing with The Viginian, which is his only really remembered work today, but also wrote other texts, including ones that could be regarded as philosophical.

Category:  Author.
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Nathan Witt

Witt was another Harvard Law graduate who was exposed by Whitaker Chambers of being a member of the Ware Group, a Washington D. C. Communist cell.  By that time Witt had risen to the position of Secretary of the National Labor Relations Board and resigned from it, as his hard left views were well known and generated a great deal of opposition.  He invoked his Fifth Amendment Rights when investigated by the House Unamerican Affairs Committee and while his membership in the Ware Group seems established, if that meant anything more than that he was a Communist party member at the time he was acting as a Democratic bureaucratic is unknown.  He may have become the leader of the Ware Group following Ware's death.

Category:  Civil Servant with radical views.

Date Added:  November 20, 2013.

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Greta Van Susteren

Known to most as a Fox News commentator, Van Susteren is a 1979 Graduate of Georgetown Law School and served on its faculty.  She switched to broadcast journalism as a journalist during the O. J. Simpson trial.

Category:  Broadcast Journalist.
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Berthold Alfred Maria Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg

The Von Stauffenberg name is famous to history as Claus Von Stauffenberg was the individual who was instrumental in putting together the July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazis and was also the person chosen to plant the bomb that was to actually kill Hitler.  Less well known is that almost every member, male and female, of the Von Stauffenberg family was in the plot in some fashion.

Berthold Von Stauffenberg was Claus's younger brother.  Generally, serving in the military seems to have been the career path for the Von Stauffenbergs, if they were not simply semi idle aristocrats, but that normally reflected itself in an Army career in the cavalry branch.  Both Claus and one of his other brothers, for example, took this path, and cavalrymen from the Paderborn Westphalia region of Germany were particularly prominent in the July 20 plot.  Berthold, however, was not a career military man and was actually a lawyer.  He joined the Germany Navy in 1939, where he served as an officer, albeit principally in a legal capacity.  Like the other Von Stauffenbergs he was in on the July 20 plot.  He was executed for his role in it.

I should note here that there were a fair number of other lawyers involved in the July 20 plot.  The reason that they are not listed here is that were not in other occupations at the time.  This is particularly remarkable as many of them had resisted the Nazis throughout the 1930s in their careers, something that was particularly difficult for professionals to do, and which took an enormous amount of personal courage.

Category:  Naval Officer.  Revolutionary.

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