Richard J. Daronco

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Richard J. Daronco
Born Richard Joseph Daronco
(1931-08-01)August 1, 1931
New York, New York
Died May 21, 1988(1988-05-21) (aged 56)
Pelham, New York

Richard Joseph Daronco (August 1, 1931 – May 21, 1988) was a federal judge in the United States.

Richard J. Daronco Courthouse
The memorial plaque for Judge Daronco

Born in New York, New York, Daronco received a B.A. from Providence College in 1953. He received a LL.B. from Albany Law School in 1956, and was a private in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958. He was in private practice in New York City from 1958 to 1959, and in White Plains, New York from 1959 to 1971. In 1971, Daronco began his judicial career as a Judge of the New York Family Court for Westchester County, on which he served from 1971 to 1974. Daronco served on the Westchester County Court from 1974 to 1979, and as a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court from 1979 to 1987. He was also an adjunct professor, Pace University School of Law from 1983 to 1988. He was an adjunct professor, Fordham University School of Law from 1983 to 1988.

On February 2, 1987, Daronco was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Lee P. Gagliardi. Daronco was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 7, 1987, and received his commission the same day.

In April 1988, Judge Daronco presided over a bench trial in a sex discrimination and sexual harassment case, in which the plaintiff represented herself. On May 19, 1988, Daronco issued a written decision holding in the defendant employer's favor and dismissing the case. Two days later, Charles L. Koster, a retired New York City police officer and the father of the unsuccessful plaintiff, shot and killed Judge Daronco while the judge was doing yard work at his home in Pelham. Koster then committed suicide.

Daronco was one of three federal judges killed in the 20th century, together with John H. Wood, Jr. and Robert Smith Vance. The Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, where Daronco had worked for many years as a state court judge, was later renamed in his memory, as was the municipal building in the town of Pelham, where Daronco lived.

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