John F. Gerry

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Judge John Francis Gerry (November 17, 1925 – March 10, 1995) was the chief United States district judge on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey for seven years and a former top official of the policy-making arm of the Federal bench.


He was born in Mount Holly Township, New Jersey on November 17, 1925,

In 1974, he was appointed to the bench by United States President Gerald R. Ford after serving for two years as a judge on the Camden County Superior Court and State Superior Court.

Judge Gerry enlisted in World War II in 1944 while in his senior year in high school, and he served in the Pacific Theater as a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army Air Forces from 1944 to 1946.

He returned from the war, enrolled at Princeton University in 1946 and graduated magna cum laude in 1950. He attended Harvard Law School, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1953 with his J.D..

He was a partner for 17 years in the firm of Wallace, Douglass & Gerry in Camden, handling mostly civil and corporate law cases, until leaving in 1972 for the bench.

From January 1992 until he left the chief judgeship, he was also the chairman of the executive committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. The conference, which administers the Federal courts, was headed by William H. Rehnquist, the former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He stepped down as the state's chief judge in October 1994, as a senior member of the system.

He died on March 10, 1995 of liver cancer, in his home in Moorestown Township, New Jersey.[1]


  1. ^ Lynette Holloway (March 12, 1995). "John F. Gerry, 69, Chief Judge Of Federal Court in New Jersey". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-23. "John Francis Gerry, the chief United States district judge in New Jersey for seven years and a former top official of the policy-making arm of the Federal bench, died on Friday at his home in Moorestown, N.J. He was 69. The cause was liver cancer, said his wife, Jean G. Gerry. ..." 

Further reading[edit]

  • John F. Gerry The Political Graveyard, a database of historic cemeteries