Walter J. Cummings, Jr.
Lawyer, Deceased Person
1916 – 1999
Who was Walter J. Cummings, Jr.?
Walter Joseph Cummings Jr. was a United States Solicitor General and a federal judge.
Cummings was born in Chicago, Illinois to Lillian Garvy Cummings and Walter J. Cummings, Sr. The senior Cummings was ex-chairman of the board of the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company,a member of the first board of the FDIC for five months, and treasurer of the Democratic National Committee from 1934 to 1936. After attending Chicago area schools, the junior Cummings received a B.A. from Yale University in 1937, and then earned an LL.B. from Harvard University in 1940. That same year he was admitted to the Illinois bar and joined the staff of the U.S. Solicitor General, where he served until 1946. During that time, Cummings also served as a special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General in Washington, D.C., from 1944 to 1946.
In 1946, Cummings joined the Chicago law firm now known as Sidley Austin as a partner. He remained at the firm until 1966, taking his only leave of absence to become Solicitor General of the United States after President Truman’s December 1, 1952 appointment. At age 36, Cummings was the youngest Solicitor general to serve in the position. His short SG service was during the transitional period between the presidencies of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Cummings only appeared before the Supreme Court in matters concerning alleged violations of the civil rights of convicts in a Florida prison camp and a question concerning the constitutionality of the emergency strike section of the Taft-Hartley Act.
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