Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Harlan F. Stone (1924–1925): Attorney General

Harlan Fiske Stone was born in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, on October 11, 1872. After graduating from Amherst College (BS, 1894), he attended Columbia University Law School, receiving his degree in 1898. Stone practiced law in New York City and lectured at Columbia Law School (1899-1902), becoming a professor there from 1902 to 1905 and dean from 1910-1923.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge appointed him U.S. attorney general. He served in that office for a year, when Coolidge appointed him to a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1941, upon the retirement of Chief Justice Charles Evan Hughes, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. During his tenure, the Court liberalized the doctrine of laissez-faire and upheld many of the social legislative efforts of the New Deal. He served in that capacity until his death on April 22, 1946.