Fred M. Vinson

1890- 1953

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court



Fred Vinson was born in Louisa, Kentucky on January 22, 1890. He graduated from Centre College in 1909 and from its law school two years later. In 1911, Vinson was admitted to the bar in Kentucky. Eventually pursuing a political career, Vinson was elected to the House of Representatives in 1924, and served a total of six terms in the House. In 1938, President Roosevelt appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals. Vinson held a series of Administration positions during the World War II. In 1945, President Truman appointed Vinson to become Treasury Secretary. The next year, Vinson was named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

In that role, he supported the government stance in a number of key decisions. He was a key figure in several cases that began to address racial issues.