Luther L. Bohanon

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Luther Lee Bohanon (August 9, 1902 – July 18, 2003) was a United States federal judge.

Early life[edit]

Bohanon was born on August 9, 1902, in Fort Smith, Arkansas. His family moved to Stigler, Oklahoma, four years later. Another move took the family of 14 children to Kinta where he completed his elementary education. He completed his high school education at Muskogee, Oklahoma. In 1922, he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma where he earned a LL. B. in 1927. In the month of his graduation he was admitted to practice before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.[citation needed]

Law career[edit]

Bohanon opened a law office in Seminole, Oklahoma, and a month later accepted an appointment as assistant county attorney of Seminole County. He served in this capactity in 1927 and 1928 before leaving in spring 1928 to form a law partnership with Alfred P. Murrah in Seminole. Bohanon was in private practice there and in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from 1928 to 1936, and in Oklahoma City alone from 1936 to 1961. He was a United States Army Air Corps Major, JAG Corps, from 1942 to 1945.

During World War II, Judge Bohanon served in the Judge Advocate General's Department of the U.S. Army Air Force, holding several high-ranking positions. After the war, he returned to Oklahoma City and continued his law practice until appointment to his federal position.

On August 18, 1961, Bohanon was nominated by John F. Kennedy to a joint appointment to seats on the Western, Eastern, and Northern Districts of Oklahoma, all vacated by William R. Wallace. Bohanon was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 30, 1961, and received his commission the same day. He assumed senior status on August 2, 1974, which made way for the appointment of H. Dale Cook for Oklahoma's three districts. Bohanon continued serving as a senior judge until his death on July 18, 2003.

Judge Bohanon was active in Democratic Party affairs on the local, state and national levels. He was a Mason and a Shriner and a member of the United Methodist Church of Nichols Hills. He married Marie Swatek in July 1933.


  • “Luther Bohanon”, Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • “Luther Bohanon”, Vertical File, Oklahoma Room, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 18 April 1999 and 31 October 2001.
  • Kenny A. Franks and Paul F. Lambert, The Legacy of Dean Julien C. Monnet: Judge Luther Bohanon and the Desegregation of Oklahoma City's Public Schools (Muskogee, Okla.: Western Heritage Books, 1983).
  • Jace Weaver, Then to the Rock Let Me Fly: Luther Bohanon and Judicial Activism (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993).
  • Luther L. Bohanon at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.

External links[edit]