Edward Augustus Conger

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Edward Augustus Conger (January 7, 1882 – August 7, 1963) was a prominent federal judge in New York City.

Biography[edit]

Conger attended the New York University School of Law and read law before being admitted to the New York bar. He practiced law in Poughkeepsie, New York until 1908, when he was appointed as Assistant District Attorney of Dutchess County. Conger was then elected as the Dutchess County District Attorney in 1913, and served until 1918 when he became city judge.

During his time as District Attorney, Conger is remembered for his pursuit of murderer Harry Thaw, who in 1906 had shot and killed architect Stanford White on the roof of Madison Square Garden and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Thaw escaped in 1913 from the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and was later arrested in and extradited from Sherbrooke, Quebec. Conger returned to private law practice in 1922.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to serve as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. Among prominent matters before Judge Conger were cases arising from the United States Senate's contempt citation of notorious underworld figure Frank Costello and with other criminal trials of smugglers, gamblers and narcotics dealers. Conger also presided at the 1949 trial of 17 Communist Party leaders indicted under the Smith Act. He also handled the protracted bankruptcy proceedings of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway, which dragged on for almost 10 years.

After 19 years as an active judge, Conger assumed senior status on the court in 1954, which he retained until his death nine years later.

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