Frederick M. Vinson
Centre College Class of 1909
Frederick Moore Vinson was born Louisa, Kentucky, on January 22, 1890, the son of James and Virginia Vinson. Vinson attended public schools in Louisa, and entered the senior class at Centre College when he was 18, where he graduated with a BA degree June 1909. He spent the next two years in the law department of Centre College, and received his bachelor of law degree in June 1911. Vinson was admitted to the bar the same year, and began practicing law in Louisa. In 1919 he was made Louisaís city attorney, Vinsonís first public office. He served in the United States Army during the First World War, and from 1921-to 1924 as Commonwealth attorney for the thirty-second judicial district of Kentucky. Vinson was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-eighth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William J. Fields, and was reelected to the Sixty-ninth and Seventieth Congresses and served from January 12, 1924, to March 3, 1929. Vinson was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1928 to the Seventy-first Congress, and resumed the practice of law in Kentucky. He was again elected to the Seventy-second and to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1931, to May 12, 1938, when he resigned, having been appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as associate justice of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. From March 2, 1942, as the nominee of Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone, he also served as chief judge of the United States Emergency Court of Appeals until his resignation May 27, 1943, to become Director of the Office of Economic Stabilization. On March 5, 1945, Roosevelt appointed Vinson to the Federal Loan Administration, and on April 2, 1945, to the Director of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion. On July 23, 1945, President Truman appointed Vinson Secretary of the Treasury. On June 24, 1946, on the nomination of President Truman and after ratification by the U.S. Senate, Vinson took the oath of office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Vonson suddenly died in Washington, D.C., on September 8, 1953. He was buried in Pinehill Cemetery, Louisa, Kentucky.