Paul J. Kilday
Early life and education 
Born in Sabinal, Kilday was the sixth child of Patrick Kilday, an immigrant from Ireland who was established as a merchant, and his Texas-born wife, Mary Tallant Kilday. Kilday moved with his parents and siblings to San Antonio in 1904. He attended public and parochial schools there, graduating in 1918, and then went on to St. Mary's College in the same city.
While attending law school, Kilday was employed as a clerk for the United States Air Force in Washington, D.C. from 1918 to 1921 and as a law clerk for United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, in 1921 and 1922. He graduated with an LL.B. degree from the law department of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1922. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in San Antonio, Texas. At one point, he went into practice with Harry Howard, who later became a judge and president of the San Antonio Bar Association.
Kilday himself served as first assistant district attorney of Bexar County, Texas from 1935 to 1938. He was elected by the Twentieth District of Texas as a Democrat to the Seventy-sixth and to the eleven succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1939, until his resignation September 24, 1961, having been appointed a judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals by President John F. Kennedy. Kilday served in this capacity until his death, in Washington, D.C.. Kilday was followed in Congress by Henry Barbosa Gonzalez. He had been preceded by Maury Maverick.
He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia. Long-time family political ally Lyndon Johnson, president at the time, attended the interment. Kilday's biographical page at a site commemorating veterans buried in Arlington notes:
|“||During that time he served on the House Armed Services Committee from 1946 until 1961, and also on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy for over ten years. As a Congressman and a Chairman of various House Armed Service Subcommittees, Judge Kilday played a significant part in the drafting of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the creation of an independent Air Force, and the sponsoring of continued pay raises for service members.
Judge Kilday resigned from Congress in 1961, when he was appointed by President Kennedy as a Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals. He served in that capacity until his death on 12 October 1968.... It is with great sorrow and a keen sense of loss that the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and the Armed Forces learned of Judge Kilday’s death at the age of 68. A lifelong friend of the individual serviceman throughout his career as both a Congressman and a Judge, he will probably be best remembered for liberal interpretations of military law, equating the constitutional rights of service members with those of civilians.
He had married Cecile Newton on August 9, 1932. She survived him, as did two daughters, Mary Catherine Kilday and Betty Ann Drogula, and two granddaughters, Cynthia L. Drogula and Jennifer M. Drogula. Two additional grandchildren followed his death, Fred K. Drogula and Elizabeth A. Drogula.
- Paul Joseph Kilday, Arlington National Cemetery Website. Accessed March 7, 2009.
- 1900 United States Federal Census > Texas > Uvalde > Justice Precinct 2 > District 73 > Sheet 13.
- Obituary: Queenie Howard. October 4, 2007. Daily Times of Kerrville, Texas. Accessed via paid database at Ancestry.Com March 6, 2009.
- Biography: Henry B. Gonzalez. Accessed March 7, 2009.
- Paul Joseph Kilday at PoliticalGraveyard.Com. Accessed March 7, 2009.
General resource 
- A Guide to the Paul Kilday Papers, 1938-1961 at the Center for American History of the University of Texas at Austin
- A Photo of Paul Kilday at Baylor University.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.