Louis D. Brandeis

Louis D. Brandeis
Associate Justice

Associate Justice

Louis Dembitz Brandeis was born in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 13, 1856. His parents, Adolph and Fredericka Dembitz Brandeis, Jewish immigrants from Prague (now in the Czech Republic), were married in Madison, Ind., in 1849. Louis was the youngest of four children--two girls and two boys. He was raised in Louisville, Kentucky where his father was a successful grain merchant. In 1891, Brandeis married Alice Goldmark of New York City. They had two daughters. He died in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 5, 1941.

He made an outstanding scholastic record in the public schools of Louisville and at the Annen Realschule in Dresden, Germany. At the age of eighteen, he was admitted to Harvard Law School without a college degree, he graduated with record-breaking grades while still under the age of 21 in 1877. Brandeis earned the highest average in the law school's history.

Law Practice:
After practicing law for a short time in St. Louis, Missouri, Brandeis grew to be a leader of the Boston bar. Giving his time and talents without pay in matters of public interest, he became known as the attorney for the people. He was responsible for many social and economic reforms and for savings bank insurance, an economic protection plan for workingmen. In particular, he enjoyed representing small companies against giant corporations, and aiding the cause of the minimum wage against companies opposed to this principle.

Judicial Offices:
In 1912, he supported Woodrow Wilson's nomination for Presidency. Wilson nominated Brandeis in 1916. Brandeis was the first Jew ever to be appointed to this position. He was commissioned on June 1, 1916 and he was sworn in on June 5, 1916. Brandeis served from 1916 to 1939 as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. He retired on Feb. 13, 1939.

His book 'Other People's Money--And How the Bankers Use It' (1914) helped strengthen the federal antitrust laws.

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