Barron Patterson McCune
|Barron Patterson McCune|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania|
December 18, 1970 – April 1, 1985
|Nominated by||Richard Nixon|
|Preceded by||None[nb 1]|
|Succeeded by||William Lloyd Standish|
|Born||February 19, 1915
West Newton, Pennsylvania
|Died||September 10, 2008 (aged 93)
|Alma mater||Washington and Jefferson College
University of Pennsylvania Law School
|Service/branch||U.S. Naval Reserve|
|Years of service||1942–1948|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Barron Patterson McCune (February 19, 1915 – September 10, 2008) was a United States federal judge.
He was born in West Newton, Pennsylvania in 1915 and attended Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. As a student, he submitted jokes told by history professor Dr. Alfred Sweet to Judge magazine, splitting the $2 check from the publication. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, as well as the Buskin Club, a theater organization. McCune received an A.B. from Washington and Jefferson College in 1935. As McCune then took a job with Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, his father encouraged him to study law. He entered University of Pennsylvania Law School and earned an LL.B. in 1938.
After graduation, he rejected a job offer in Philadelphia, but he felt that the $1,800 salary wasn't enough to live on. He returned to Washington, Pennsylvania in 1939 to work in his own private practice, serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a gunnery officer from 1942 to 1948. In 1964, he became a judge in the Court of Common Pleas in Washington County, Pennsylvania. On December 8, 1970, he was nominated by President Richard Nixon to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania; he was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 16, 1970. He assumed senior status in 1985.
During his tenure on the court, he heard a wide variety of cases, including a case involving cocaine trafficking in Major League Baseball and an insurance law case determining whether certain women with breast cancer had insurance coverage for bone marrow transplants. He held in favor of Allegheny County in a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union to a display of the Nativity scene at the Allegheny County Courthouse.[nb 2]
He was known for being a large man, standing 6 feet 4 inches and weighing 215 pounds, and his judicial demeanor was marked by his "one-liners, an imposing demeanor, and a penchant for cigars." He retired from the bench in 1995.
He was active with his alma mater, Washington & Jefferson College, serving on the Board of Trustees for 40 years, including a time as president of the board from 1976 to 1983. He was an avid fan of the Washington & Jefferson football team, attending every home game until the age of 92.
He was married to his wife, Edna Markey, from 1943 until her death in 1999. They had three sons, Edward M., James H., and Barron P. Jr. He was a member of the Church of the Covenant. He died in 2008 in Washington, Pennsylvania.
He always reminded me of a country philosopher sitting on the front porch of a general store. He had such a quirky view on things.
- Barron Patterson McCune at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- "McCune, Barron Patterson". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center.
- "Standish, William Lloyd". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center.
- Ward, Paula Reed (September 12, 2008). "Obituary: Barron Patterson McCune / Federal judge for 24 years earned reputation for fairness". Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
- "The Honorable Barron P. McCune". Education for a Lifetime. Washington & Jefferson College. Archived from the original on 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- The Cross & Crescent. 22. Lambda Chi Alpha. 1935. p. 107.
- Cato, Jason (September 12, 2008). "Judge from West Newton remembered for 'quirky view' on law, life". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved August 11, 2012.
- "Remembering the Honorable Barron P. McCune '35 (1915-2008)" (PDF). W&J Magazine. Washington & Jefferson College. Fall 2008.