Born: January 14, 1911
New Orleans, Louisiana

Died: August 6, 1988
Westmoreland Hills, Maryland

James Skelly Wright

Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Received a recess appointment from Harry S Truman on October 21, 1949, to a seat vacated by Wayne G. Borah; nominated to the same position by Harry S Truman on January 5, 1950. Confirmed by the Senate on March 8, 1950, and received commission on March 9, 1950. Service terminated on April 15, 1962, due to appointment to another judicial position.

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Nominated by John F. Kennedy on February 2, 1962, to a seat vacated by E. Barrett Prettyman. Confirmed by the Senate on March 28, 1962, and received commission on March 30, 1962. Served as chief judge, 1978-1981. Assumed senior status on June 1, 1986. Service terminated on August 6, 1988, due to death.

Portrait Ceremony
Transcript of ceremony: October 25, 1985

Frame Dimensions
Oil on canvas 29″ X 39″

Peter Stevens (1920 – 2002) Trained in art under Sir Walter Russell at the Royal Academy Schools of London, Peter Stevens pursued a career in art and theater before he joined the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, at which time he painted a portrait of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

His career as a portraitist began in earnest following the war when he painted portraits which are today in such public collections as the New York Court of Appeals, Yale and New York Universities, and in private collections. Mr. Stevens was commissioned to paint a portrait of Justice William Brennan as well as the portraits of a number of federal judges. His portrait of Judge Patricia M. Wald was completed shortly before his death in 2002.

Year Painted

Professional Career:

High school teacher, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1932-1936
Lecturer, Loyola University, 1936-1937
Assistant U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Louisiana, 1937-1942
U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander, 1942-1945
Assistant U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Louisiana, 1945-1946
Private practice, Washington, D.C., 1946-1948
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 1948-1949
Faculty, Loyola University School of Law, 1950-1962

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

  • Papers, 1933-1987. 116 linear ft. (81,200 items); finding aid; personal and professional correspondence, case files, opinions, memoranda, reports, speeches, writings, financial papers, teaching material, clippings, and printed matter documenting Wright’s legal and judicial careers.
  • Hugo Lafayette Black papers, 1883-1976; 216 linear ft. (130,000 items); finding aid; restricted; correspondence.
  • William J. Brennan papers, 1945-1998; 434.8 linear ft.; finding aid; correspondence.
  • Arthur J. Goldberg papers, 1793-1990; 120.7 linear ft.; finding aid; correspondence.
  • Harold Leventhal papers, 1932-1980; 94 linear ft. (80,000 items) finding aid; restricted; correspondence.
  • Simon Ernest Sobeloff papers, 1882-1973; 158 linear ft. (95,000 items); finding aid; correspondence.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • J. Skelly Wright and J. Waties Waring correspondence, 1960. 4 items; finding aid; correspondence between Judges Wright and Waring about race relations in the South; Unit 36 of Miscellaneous Papers collection.

Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, Mass.

  • Richard Hinkley Field papers, 1932-1978; 14 linear ft. (ca. 7,500 items); finding aid; represented.

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.

  • Nicholas Canaday papers, 1960-1982; 31 items; represented.