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Earl Warren

Earl Warren (March 19, 1891 - July 9, 1974) was a District Attorney and Governor of California, but is best known as Chief Justice of the United States from 1953-1969. His term of office was marked by numerous liberal rulings affecting among other things, the legal status of racial segregation, civil rights, separation of church and state and police arrest procedure in the USA.

He was born in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in Bakersfield, California, attended the University of California, Berkeley, and attended Law School there. Warren worked for five years for private law firms in the San Francisco Bay Area. He went to work for San Francisco County in 1920 and in 1925 was appointed as District Attorney of Alameda County when the incumbent resigned. He was re-elected to 3 four-year terms. As a tough on crime District Attorney, Warren had a reputation for high-handedness, however, none of his convictions was ever overturned on appeal.

Warren became a well-known figure in California and was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of California while district attorney. In 1939, he became Attorney General of the State of California. He ran for governor of California in 1942 as a Republican and was elected. California law at the time allowed individuals to run in any primary elections they chose. In 1946, Warren managed the singular feat of winning the Republican, Democratic and Progressive primary elections and thus running unopposed in the 1946 general election. He was again elected (as a Republican) in 1948.

Warren's state service was marred by his support for the internment of Japanese during World War II. But it was also marked by laying the infrastructure to support a two-decade boom that lasted from the end of World War II until the mid 1960s. In particular, Warren and UC Chancellor Clark Kerr[?] presided over construction of a renowned public university system that provided inexpensive, high quality education to two generations of Californians.

Warren ran for Vice President of the United States in 1948 on a ticket with Thomas Dewey. They lost narrowly to Harry Truman.

In 1953, Warren was appointed Chief Justice of the United States. To the surprise of many, Warren was a much more liberal justice than had been anticipated. He was able to craft a long series of unanimous decisions including Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 347 US 483 1954 which overthrew the segregation of public schools; "One man one vote", which dramatically altered the relative power of rural regions in many states; and Miranda from the case Miranda v. Arizona 384 US 436 1966, which required that the rights of a person accused of a crime be clearly explained and that an attorney be provided. Warren retired from the court in 1969.

Warren headed the Warren Commission that concluded that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the act of a single individual acting alone.

Warren died in Washington, DC.



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