an image

Walter Franklin George

Walter Franklin George, 1917-1917


WALTER FRANKLIN GEORGE served on the Court of Appeals of Georgia from January 1, 1917, to October 1, 1917, and thereafter until 1922 on the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was born January 29, 1878, on a farm near Preston, Webster County, Georgia, and died on August 4, 1957.

He attended schools in Webster County and later in then Dooly, now Crisp, County at Arabi and Cordele; received B.S. degree in 1900 from Mercer University and his B.L. degree there in 1901; gained high scholastic honors and was an outstanding young orator at Mercer. His alma mater in 1920 conferred upon him an honorary LL.D. degree and posthumously the degree of L.HD.; admitted to practice in 1901 and began his legal career in Vienna.

He married Lucy Heard of Dooly County in 1903. They had two children, Heard Franklin and Joseph Marcus, who died in WWII. For additional information as to his family history, life, and career, see the memorial dated October 15, 1958, in 214 Georgia Reports, pages 880-895.

He was Solicitor-General of Cordele Judicial Circuit 1907-1912; served 1912-1916 as Judge of this same circuit; returned to Vienna and Dooly County to practice law; elected United States Senator in 1922, succeeding U. S. Senator Thomas E. Watson.

He received honorary degrees from Emory, Brown, Columbia, Union, and Georgetown Universities. He was a trustee of Mercer University, which created the Walter F. George School of Law. He was noted as a vocational education leader; he was a Baptist.

President Roosevelt attempted to purge him when he voted against the President's attempt to stack the U. S. Supreme Court, and his famous reply was, "Mr. President, I want you to know I accept your challenge."

He served in the U. S. Senate for 34 years until January 5, 1957, when he was appointed to serve as special representative of the President of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization until his death.

He is called a "fair, just and unprejudiced" judge and "a great public "servant.