“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, JR. was born on March 8, 1841, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1861. Holmes served for three years with the Massachusetts Twentieth Volunteers during the Civil War. He was wounded three times. In 1866 he returned to Harvard and received his law degree. The following year Holmes was admitted to the bar and joined a law firm in Boston, where he practiced for fifteen years. Holmes taught law at his alma mater, edited the American Law Review, and lectured at the Lowe Institute. In 1881, he published a series of twelve lectures on the common law, which was translated into several languages. In 1882, while working as a full professor at Harvard Law School, Holmes was appointed by the Governor to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. He served on that Court for twenty years, the last three as Chief Justice. On December 2, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Holmes to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Holmes served on the Supreme Court for twenty-nine years and retired on January 12, 1932. He died on March 6, 1935, two days short of his ninety-fourth birthday.
This biography is reprinted from the United States Supreme Court’s website. See http://www.supremecourthistory.org