John Cooper Godbold

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John Cooper Godbold
John Cooper Godbold.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
October 23, 1987 – December 22, 2009
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
1981–1986
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
October 1, 1981 – October 23, 1987
Appointed by Reassigned to Eleventh Circuit pursuant to operation of law
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
1981–1981
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
July 22, 1966 – September 30, 1981
Appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Richard Taylor Rives
Personal details
Born (1920-03-04)March 4, 1920
Coy, Alabama
Died December 22, 2009(2009-12-22) (aged 89)
Montgomery, Alabama
Alma mater Auburn University B.S.
Harvard Law School J.D.
Profession Judge

John Cooper Godbold (March 24, 1920 – December 22, 2009) was a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Biography[edit]

Born in Coy, Alabama, Godbold received a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University in 1940 and was a Major in the United States Army, Division Artillery Headquarters during World War II, from 1941 to 1946. He received a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1948, and was in private practice in Montgomery, Alabama from 1948 to 1966.

Court of Appeals service[edit]

On June 28, 1966, Godbold was nominated by President Johnson to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated by Richard Taylor Rives. Godbold was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 22, 1966, and received his commission the same day. He served as chief judge in 1981, but on October 1, 1981, he was reassigned by operation of law to the newly created United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He served as the first chief judge of that court, from 1981 to 1986, and assumed senior status on October 23, 1987. He served as Director of the Federal Judicial Center from 1987 to 1990, and was a professor of law at the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University beginning in 1990. He continued in senior status for twenty-two years, until his death, in 2009, in Montgomery, Alabama.

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