Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Robert H. Jackson (1940–1941): Attorney General

Robert Houghwout Jackson was born February 13, 1892, in Spring Creek, Pennsylvania. He attended the Albany Law School and was admitted to the New York bar in 1913.

Jackson began his career as corporation counsel of Jamestown, New York, and was chosen by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1930, to become a member of the New York State Commission to Investigate the Administration of Justice. After Roosevelt was elected President, Jackson served as general counsel to the Bureau of Internal Revenue before moving to the Justice Department as assistant attorney general. He was named solicitor general in 1937, where he served until accepting a cabinet position.

Jackson served as attorney general from 1940 to 1941. He was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1941 after Associate Justice Harlan Fiske Stone was elevated to the position of chief justice. Jackson also served as the chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials in Germany from 1945 to 1946. Robert Jackson died in office on October 9, 1954, in Washington, D.C.