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Whittaker, Charles Evans, 1901-1973



  • Existence: February 22, 1901 - November 26, 1973


Charles E. Whittaker was born in Troy, Kansas, on February 22, 1901. He left school at the age of sixteen to work on the family farm. Four years later, with tutoring, he was able to qualify for the University of Kansas City Law School and received a degree in 1924. He was admitted to the bar one year before his graduation. Whittaker joined the Kansas City law firm where he had worked part-time as an office boy during his student years and became a senior partner in two years. For the next thirty years, he practiced law. Whittaker was President of the Missouri Bar Association from 1953 to 1954. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Whittaker to the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Two years later, President Eisenhower elevated him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Whittaker served for less than one year when, on March 22, 1957, President Eisenhower nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 25, 1957. Whittaker served on the Supreme Court for five years. He retired on March 31, 1962, and died November 26, 1973, at the age of seventy-two. To date, he is the only Supreme Court Justice from the state of Missouri.

(source: The Supreme Court Historical Society,

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Justice Charles Evans Whittaker Supreme Court Papers Collection

Identifier: MS-0315
Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of working case files from Whittaker’s tenure on the court, along with some internal “Court Business” files and information about his law clerks and law clerk applicants. Included are Opinions, Bench Memos, and Docket Books. A description of the collection as it was found at the Supreme Court is available upon request.

Dates: 1954 - 1962