Fred Vinson

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Fred Vinson
Former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
From: June 21, 1946 – September 8, 1953
Nominator Harry Truman
Predecessor Harlan Fiske Stone
Successor Earl Warren
53rd United States Secretary of the Treasury
From: July 23, 1945 – June 23, 1946
President Harry Truman
Predecessor Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
Successor John W. Snyder
Former U.S. Representative from Kentucky's 8th Congressional District
From: March 4, 1933 – May 27, 1938
Predecessor Ralph Waldo Emerson Gilbert
Successor Joe B. Bates
Former U.S. Representative from Kentucky's 9th Congressional District
From: January 24, 1924 – March 3, 1929
March 4, 1931 – March 3, 1933
Predecessor William Jason Fields
Elva R. Kendall
Successor Elva R. Kendall
John Y. Brown, Sr.
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Roberta Dixon
Religion Methodist

Frederick Moore Vinson (1890-1953) was the Chief Justice of the United States from 1946 to 1953. Prior to being elevated to the Supreme Court, he served as Secretary of the Treasury (1945-1946), a Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (1937-1943), and was a Congressman for Kentucky in the House of Representatives (1925-1929, 1931-1937).


Fred Vinson was born in Louisa, Kentucky. He attended Centre College. After receiving his LL.B, he became the City Attorney of Louisa. He was elected District Attorney in 1921, a post he held for three years.

In 1924, he was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat. He was reelected in 1926, but lost his seat to a Republican challenger in 1928. However, he was able to reclaim the seat in 1930. Vinson was reelected easily after that. He won choice assignments to the House Appropriations Committee as well as the Ways and Means Committee, where he was able to provide support for the New Deal program of President Franklin Roosevelt.

Roosevelt appointed him to the D.C. Court of Appeals in 1937, leading to his resignation from Congress. In 1943, he resigned his Appellate seat to work for the Roosevelt Administration in several jobs. He was a close personal friend of Harry Truman, who appointed Vinson Secretary of the Treasury in 1945, a post he held for several months.

Chief Justice

After the death of Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone President Harry Truman chose Vinson as his replacement. His Court was noted for hearing a relatively small number of cases per term and initiating the tradition of having clerks write opinions. On September 8, 1953, after seven years as Chief Justice, he passed away and was replaced by Earl Warren.