Charles Alvin Jones

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Charles Alvin Jones
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
In office
July 25, 1939 – December 31, 1944
Nominated by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by John Warren Davis
Succeeded by Harry Ellis Kalodner
Personal details
Born (1887-08-27)August 27, 1887
Died May 22, 1966(1966-05-22) (aged 78)
Political party Democratic
Occupation Judge, lawyer, politician

Charles Alvin Jones (August 27, 1887 – May 22, 1966) was a United States federal judge and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Born in Newport, Pennsylvania, located in Perry County, Jones attended the Newport schools, Mercersburg Academy and Williams College before receiving an LL.B. from Dickinson School of Law. He was admitted to the Perry County Bar in 1910, but soon went to Pittsburgh and began working for a large law firm. During World War I he drove an ambulance for the French Army and was a U.S. Naval Aviation Ensign from 1918 to 1919.[1]

In 1938, he ran for the governorship of Pennsylvania as the endorsed Democratic candidate, but lost to Arthur H. James by nearly 300,000 votes.[2]

On July 14, 1939, Jones was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated by John Warren Davis. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 18, 1939, and received his commission on July 25, 1939. Jones served in that capacity until his resignation, on December 31, 1944

His resignation from the Federal bench allowed him to take a seat on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on January 3, 1945.[3] He had been elected to that seat in November and was the only Democrat on the Court. He became Chief Justice in 1956, and served in that position until his retired in 1961, due to his deteriorating vision.[4] He then was a senior advisor to the Philadelphia law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.[5]

He was noted for his authorship of the Court's majority opinion overturning the conviction of Steve Jones, a Communist, on state sedition charges.[6]

He died in Wynnewood, Montgomery County, on May 22, 1966.[7]

He was survived by his wife, Isabella Arrott; they were married in 1918.[8] He was also survived by a son and daughter. Another son, Charles Alvin Jones, Jr. was killed during World War II while serving as a Marine aviator in the Pacific.[9]


  1. ^ "Charles Alvin Jones", Gettysburg Compiler, October 22, 1938.
  2. ^ Morgan, pg. 207.
  3. ^ "Historical List of Supreme Court Justices", website of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania
  4. ^ Pittsburgh Press, May 22, 1966
  5. ^ "Closed for "Business" The Story of the Bankers Trust Company during the Great Depression
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Press, May 22, 1966
  7. ^ Pittsburgh Press, May 22, 1966
  8. ^ Pittsburgh Press, February 27, 1938
  9. ^ Squadron Historical Summary on the website of Marine Bombing Squadron 611


Legal offices
Preceded by
John Warren Davis
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Succeeded by
Harry Ellis Kalodner
Party political offices
Preceded by
George Earle
Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
F. Clair Ross