Thomas E. Fairchild
Thomas Edward Fairchild (December 25, 1912 – February 12, 2007) was a U.S. federal judge and former politician from Wisconsin. Before his death, he served as a Senior Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Thomas Fairchild was born on Christmas Day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His educational background included a B.A. from Cornell University, a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and additional studies conducted at Princeton University and Deep Springs College in California.
Following graduation from law school in 1938, he practiced law in Portage, Wisconsin until 1942, when he became an attorney with the Office of Price Administration, specializing in consumer rationing issues. He returned to private practice in 1945, working out of the Milwaukee law office of Foley and Lardner for three years. In 1948, he was elected as Attorney General of Wisconsin. During his tenure as state attorney general, he shut down "Stop the Music", a popular radio quiz show, which thereafter made the first successful leap from radio to the television era triggering a wave of quiz show scandals throughout the 1950s. His decision to halt the radio show in the pre-TV era may have contributed to his loss in the 1950 U.S. Senate race against incumbent Alexander Wiley. In 1951, President Harry S. Truman appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. A year later, he resigned to run against U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy. Following his defeat in the 1952 Senate race, he resumed private law practice in Milwaukee. In 1956, he represented alleged Communists before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Later that year, he was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, serving until 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He served as the Court's Chief Judge from 1975 to 1981, and held senior status from 1981 until his death. His father was Edward T. Fairchild, who sworn his son in, when he took office in 1957 on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
- Wisconsin Court System Biography
- Sander, Libby (2007) Thomas Fairchild, 94, Dies; Tried to Unseat McCarthy, New York Times, February 15, 2007.