Roy Laverne Stephenson
Born in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Stephenson graduated from high school in nearby Spencer, Iowa. He received a B.A. from State University of Iowa in 1938, followed by a J.D. from the same University in 1940. He was a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve from 1938 to 1941, while serving in private practice in Mapleton, Iowa from 1940 to 1941. After the United States entered World War II, he served in North Africa and Italy with the 34th Infantry Division of the United States Army from 1941 to 1946, rising to the rank of Captain. He was in private practice in Des Moines, Iowa from 1946 to 1953 until President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated him to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, a position he held from 1953 to 1960. Before his appointment, while serving as chairman of the Polk County Republican Central Committee, Stephenson had been an early and active supporter of Eisenhower's candidacy.
Stephenson was nominated by President Eisenhower on May 16, 1960, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa vacated when Edwin R. Hicklin assumed senior status. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 26, 1960, and received his commission on May 31, 1960. He served as chief judge from 1961 to 1971.
On July 6, 1971, he was elevated to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Stephenson had been nominated to the Eighth Circuit by President Richard M. Nixon on June 1, 1971, to fill a vacancy that arose when another Iowan, Martin Donald Van Oosterhout, assumed senior status. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 18, 1971, and received his commission on June 22, 1971.
Stephenson assumed senior status on April 1, 1982, soon after his 65th birthday. He died unexpectedly later that year, on November 5, 1982.
- "Roy Stephenson Gets Home from Italian Battle," The Milford Mail, 1944-06-15, p. 2
- "Judge is 'Man in a Hurry,'" Mason City Globe-Gazette, 1960-05-31 p. 1.