- Biddle, Francis Beverley
- (1886-1968)Born in Paris, France, to a wealthy American family, Francis Biddle graduated from Groton in 1905 and Harvard Law School in 1911 and was employed as a secretary to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Having failed to get elected to the Pennsylvania state senate in 1912, Biddle began a private law practice. He was assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1922 to 1926, but during the 1930s he changed allegiance from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. In 1935, Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Biddle as chair of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He resigned in 1935 when the NLRB was declared unconstitutional but was appointed judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of appeals for the Third Circuit in 1939. In 1940, Biddle became U.S. solicitor general and then attorney general in 1941. He was responsible for the implementation of the internment of Japanese Americans during the war, an act he subsequently regretted. He was also responsible for the removal of Sewell Avery from his office in 1944. Biddle resigned as attorney general in 1945 when Harry S. Truman became president and was one of the four judges at the Nuremberg War Trials from 1945 to 1947. From 1950 to 1953 he was head of the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. Biddle was a writer as well as lawyer, and among his publications were a novel, Llanfear Pattern (1927), a biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mr. Justice Holmes (1942), a critique of McCarthyism, Fear of Freedom (1951), and his own memoirs, A Casual Past (1961) and Brief Authority (1962).
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.